Poultry, such as chickens, are the most common type of land-farmed animal in the UK.  From laying hens to chickens and cockerels, we work to make sure all types of poultry have high welfare standards wherever they are kept.

What welfare standards should poultry have?

Like every species of animal, all poultry should be able to enjoy the ‘Five Freedoms’, the basic rights we believe any sentient being is entitled to. These cover:

  • its need for a suitable environment – by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area;
  • its need for a suitable diet – by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour;
  • its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns – by providing sufficient space and proper facilities;
  • any need it has to be housed with, or apart from, other animals – by providing company of the animals’ own kind, if appropriate;
  • its need to be protected from suffering, injury and disease – by ensuring conditions and treatment to avoid suffering, including mental suffering.

What do we expect of people who keep poultry?

Anyone who owns poultry should inspect their entire group at least once a day. This has to be a thorough check to pick up any injury or illness and check the beak, skin, eyes, legs, feet and claws. Attention should be paid to the condition of droppings, feed and water consumption and egg production. Owners should have a health and welfare plan for each unit of poultry and this should be agreed with a vet.

All birds should have ready access to feed and water and the ability to move around freely. The housing they have should allow for good ventilation and air quality, with good hygiene conditions.

Got concerns about poultry?

If you are worried about the welfare of a poultry you’ve seen, get in touch. Call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999 and you can report your concerns confidentially.

As well as preventing cruelty, we work with many people to make sure they can manage their group of poultry safely and properly to ensure the highest welfare standards possible are met.