The event included a tour of production facilities as well as presenters and panelists that discussed the latest science regarding poultry welfare. One of the panels also included members from the Better Chicken Commitment to discuss broiler welfare standards.
“Now in our second century of business, we at Perdue Farms are proud to continue making advancements and leading our industry in the standards to which we raise our animals,” said Mark McKay, President of Perdue Premium Poultry and Meats. “Animal husbandry and stewardship, including strong connections to our farmers and transparency with our stakeholders, keep our animals healthier and we believe translate to a better product for consumers.”
Perdue’s animal care initiatives
According to the Commitments to Animal Care Report, Perdue has approximately 90 initiatives geared toward improving animal welfare. A few of these initiatives include chicken behavior training for flock advisors and providing enrichment tools for broiler breeders.
Perdue is also conducting research on topics like feed and hatching with the goal of using the results to influence future animal welfare initiatives. One of the studies is planting a variety of vegetation in free-range pastures to see which the broilers prefer, and another is observing birds choose between higher protein and higher energy feed and how each affects growth.
Perdue researchers are also studying the feasibility and benefits of hatching chicks in the house rather than a hatchery.
Perdue’s commitment to the Five Freedoms
Perdue structures its animal welfare initiatives around the Five Freedoms Principles:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease
- Freedom to express normal behavior
- Freedom from fear and distress
The Five Freedoms were derived from the U.K.’s 1965 Brambell Report on livestock welfare.