Domestic Fowls (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock (PB0076)

7. Management


  1. Frequent inspection of the stock is essential because the conditions and reactions of the birds are the main guides to their welfare. An inspection must be made at least once daily (see note 7) in addition, to the looking-over which birds receive during routine management work (see also paragraphs 14 and 30). Injured or dead birds should be removed promptly, as should individual sick birds.
  2. It is desirable to establish a regular work routine. Care should be taken not to frighten the birds with sudden unaccustomed movement or noise, but without placing too much emphasis on quietness.
  3. Precautions should be taken by adequate control measures to protect the birds from and avoid disturbance by foxes, rodents and other animals.
  4. Mouldy litter should not be used. There should be frequent checks to ensure that litter does not become excessively wet or dry or infested with mites or other harmful organisms.
  5. Premises and equipment should be regularly cleansed. Thorough disinfection should be carried out before restocking and at other suitable times to reduce the danger of continuing infection.
  6. Vaccinations, injections and similar procedures should be undertaken by competent, trained operators. Care should be taken to avoid injury and unnecessary disturbance of the birds.
  7. Artificial insemination is a highly-skilled procedure and should be carried out only by competent, trained personnel maintaining a high standard of hygiene and taking care to avoid injury and unnecessary disturbance of the birds.


  1. The Welfare of Battery Hens Regulations 1987 (SI 1987 No. 2020) requires the laying hens and all automatic and mechanical equipment upon which such stock depend to be thoroughly inspected at least once daily.
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