Chickens

Feet check

The straw bed where chickens spend their time has a major impact on animal health and welfare and the foot health is an important indicator.

It is important for the straw bed to be kept dry as this makes it comfortable for the chickens, strengthens their immune defence and minimises the risk of diseases spreading. The quality of the straw bed is checked through the foot health of the chickens.

The condition of foot pads is carefully monitored and registered for each pen when the chickens arrive at the slaughterhouse.

Good foot health increases the proportion of high-quality chicken feet that can be exported as food, which increases revenue as this is more profitable than when they are used for animal feed.

Animal health and feed efficiency

 

Goals

2018

2017

2016

Antibiotics,

percentage of treated flocks, %

<1

13.5
0.0 excl Ireland

0.2

0.3

Foot health,

foot points

<10

14
6  excl Ireland

9

14

Feed efficiency,

kg feed/kg live weight

1.55

1.54
1,54 excl Ireland

1.56

1.59

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.

Irish Manor Farm are included for the first time in the 2018 Report. For comparability with 2017 results, figures excluding our Irish facilities are also reported.

This diagram shows feed efficiency when rearing different kinds of animals measured as the amount of feed in relation to growth (the weight is the live weight). The figures given should be seen as the mean value of the FCR values from several published sources. As a result of increased feed efficiency, the use of natural resources and associated costs are reduced at the following stages: less agricultural land, less transportation, reduced energy consumption for feed production and reduced water consumption throughout the value chain.