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

6. Feed and Water


  1. Birds should have easy access to adequate, nutritious and hygienic feed each day and to adequate fresh water at all times except in the case of therapeutic or prophylactic treatment. Care should be taken at each change of system to ensure that the birds find the feed and water points. Birds in cages should be provided with a minimum length of 10 cm feed trough space per bird; each bird should also have access to two drinkers unless each cage is provided with a water trough of the same length as the feed trough. Systems which call for regular complete withholding of feed and water on any day should not be adopted (see also paragraph 39 below on induced moulting). However, feed, but not water, may be withheld for up to 12 hours prior to slaughter.
  2. Stale or contaminated feed or water should not be allowed to accumulate and should be replaced immediately. Efforts should be made to minimise the risk of drinking water freezing.
  3. In no circumstances should birds be induced to moult by withholding feed and water.
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