Chickens

Animal welfare – Every chicken count

Our starting point is that each chicken must be comfortable and be reared in a good environment, from hatching to slaughter. Good animal welfare is an intrinsic part of our operations for ethical reasons, not only because it is what we and our consumers expect, but also because it is directly linked to quality, resource efficiency and profitability.

Providing the right pen environment and the right feed is essential to keep the chickens healthy, to help them grow and to provide nutrition and energy as effectively as possible. Only chickens that feel good can grow in a healthy way!

Carefully selected breeders
We work with carefully selected breeders in each country, and set strict requirements based on a Nordic platform for chicken rearing. These requirements include, for example, the animals being able to wander freely in the pens and no growth hormones being used. Antibiotics or any other kind of medicine may only be given to sick animals, after veterinarian control. No beak trimming is allowed.

There are also clear requirements in place for heating, lighting, ventilation, bedding and equipment for feed and water. The health of the chicken flocks is monitored on a daily basis by the rearing farm and the pen environment is measured using a number of key indicators.

Clear position on Animal welfare
Nordic animal protection legislation is among the strictest in the world. As our business is becoming more international in more countries, we can see a greater need and value in clarifying Scandi Standard’s quality requirements for animal husbandry. Our ambition is to position ourselves as an industry leader. In 2019 we published a Groupwide approach for animal welfare, setting out the requirements we set ourselves and our breeders.

Ethics in transport and slaughter
Animal ethics are a high priority in the transport and slaughter of the chickens. Transport from the breeders to our plants in cold ­climate conditions (Sweden, Finland, Norway) is carried out in specially adapted lorries that have temperature-controlled ventilation.

Transport distances and arrival times are planned and registered to ensure that each chicken is handled within set time frames, and that they are always slaughtered on the same day they are transported. All of the chickens are checked on arrival and stunned before slaughter. Animal health is checked by an official veterinarian.

Animal health and feed efficiency

The chickens’ health is monitored using a number of parameters. The central
key indicators are the low use of antibiotics and foot health as indicators of
good animal health and pen environment. The figures for the use of antibiotics
above can be compared with approximately 40−80 percent of flocks treated in
many European countries. Foot health is measured in terms of foot points; a
low score indicates good foot health. Values under 15−20 are good in an international
comparison.

The Irish Manor Farm is included for the first time in the reported figures for
2018. In order to compare with 2017, figures are also reported excluding Ireland.