Cattle

Farmed animals

Over the past two decades we’ve raised the standard of care for farm animals by encouraging farmers to make the necessary improvements to become certified.

Free range chickens

SPCA Certified chickens farmed for meat come from free range systems that meet the needs of the chickens, and which support the promotion of positive experiences.

What does a chicken want?

  • To have space to walk around

  • To scratch around and forage

  • To enjoy a dust bath

  • To spread their wings and stretch

What SPCA Certified means for chickens raised for meat

SPCA Certified requirement Why? Code of Welfare Minium Standard
Birds have access to an outdoor range for at least 8 hours each day. Provides an important opportunity to perform natural behaviours for a large part of the day, .e.g. pecking, exploration and social interaction, in a complex environment. Shelter must be provided, as well as adequate pop holes. No specific mention of other range requirements.
Maximum distance of 16 m to reach a pop hole (access to the outdoors) Allows birds to access the range with ease. No specific mention.
Feed free from sub-therapeutic antibiotics. Reduce antibiotic resistance and unnecessarily medicating birds. Feed and water must maintain good health.
No antibiotics in feed without vet advice. Allows for sick birds to be treated. No specific mention.
No antibiotics in water without vet advice. Allows for sick birds to be treated. No specific mention.
Fully slatted or wire mesh floors not allowed. Improves foot health and reduces discomfort. No specific mention.
Good quality litter, which covers the entire usable floor area, is available at all times and is managed to keep it dry and friable. At placement, litter depth is 5 cm across the entire shed. Gives the birds enough material to perform important natural behaviours, e.g. dustbathing and pecking. Good quality litter, which covers the floor must be provided. Depth not specified.
Chickens get at least six hours of darkness each day. Gives the birds enough time to rest properly. Four hours minimum.
Ammonia is kept below 15 ppm. Improved air quality leads to a healthier environment. 20 ppm maximum.
Natural ground cover, e.g. grass, makes up 70% of the range. Provides an important opportunity to perform natural behaviours for a large part of the day, .e.g. pecking, exploration and social interaction, in a complex environment. No specific mention.
Shade/shelter covers at least 20% of the range. Shelter is very important to chickens, which originated from Red Junglefowl. No specific mention.
2 m of pop holes per 1000 birds. Allows birds to access the range with ease. No specific mention.
Birds inspected at least 3 times each day. Ensures that welfare/health problems are quickly detected, to minimise suffering. Once a day inspection.
Inspections done calmly and with compassion. Reduces stress on the birds. No specific mention.
Regular foot health inspections from 14 days. Improves foot health and reduces discomfort. No specific mention.
Mortality kept below 1% per week. Ensures that welfare/health problems are quickly detected, to minimise suffering. Investigate if more than 1% in a day
Environmental enrichment from seven days of age. Allows birds to perform natural behaviours and encourages mobility, which improves leg health. No specific mention.
Space to move freely and perform natural behaviours. Max stocking density of 34 kg/m2. Reduces crowding, which enables birds to perform social behaviours, reduces stress and improves leg health. 38 kg/m2 max.
Mandatory staff training. Ensures that staff know what they are doing and can respond to problems appropriately to reduce bird distress/discomfort. Staff must collectively possess the knowledge and skills to meet the minimum standards.
Max 3 birds/hand during catching. Reduces the risk of serious injury during a highly stressful procedure. Four per hand max.

Together, we can raise the bar of welfare for farmed animals

Every year over 13,000,000 farmed animals in NZ benefit from a higher standard of care. Sounds like a lot, but that’s just 21% of all the country’s farmed animals*. With your help, we can improve the welfare of many more farmed animals in NZ. *Stats NZ 2019