We're Raising Animals for Higher Standards
Verified Poultry Care
Our USDA Process Verified Program for Poultry Care covers all our poultry operations.
The Perdue Poultry Care Program encompasses all phases of our supply chain, including breeder and hatchery operations, appropriate comfort and shelter on the farms, comprehensive healthcare and monitoring, nutrition, catching, transporting and harvesting.
Our USDA Process Verified Program for Poultry Care provides the added assurance of an audited program with more than 50 documented points from hatchery to harvest, and it covers all our growing areas and harvest operations.
Our Poultry Care Program combines principles from the National Chicken Council, our own best practices and the Perdue Commitments to Animal Care initiatives to create a baseline of care that helps ensure the health, comfort and safety of every chicken we raise.
See how our USDA Process Verified Program supports the Five Freedoms and how our Commitments to Animal Care initiatives are driving continuous improvement from hatchery to harvest.
For poultry raised indoors, we use temperature-controlled housing with fresh-air ventilation. In the house, chickens are protected from the elements, disease and predators, and they are given constant access to food and water, sufficient room to move and exhibit most natural behaviors, and periods of light and darkness. Learn more about how we're accelerating our progress in animal care.
Our Position on Animal Care & Welfare
Our animal care and welfare programs encompass all phases, including breeder operations, hatchery, appropriate comfort and shelter on the farms, comprehensive veterinary care and health monitoring, nutrition, catching, transportation and harvesting. All of the animals for our products are raised:
- Without the use of crates or cages, including gestation and farrowing crates for sows
- Without drugs for growth promotion (Federal law prohibits the use of hormones and steroids in poultry and pork, and we also don’t use any growth-promoting drugs, including beta antagonists or ractopamine.)
- With an emphasis on the freedom to express natural behaviors
- On an all-vegetarian diet with no animal by-products
- In audited and verified animal care programs
Our approach to animal care is a process of continuous improvement involving a wide range of stakeholders, with a commitment to transparency. We believe that welfare goes beyond meeting the physical needs of animals and that success is measured by more than efficiency and productivity. This includes our Perdue Commitments to Animal Care program, an ongoing effort that is changing the way we raise chickens.
Mistreatment or abuse of animals is never tolerated. All associates handling live animals are provided training, including their responsibility to report any violations of our animal welfare policies. The farmers who raise animals for us share equal responsibility to provide care according to our best practices and standards, and to alert us to any issues involving animal health or welfare.
As part of our commitment to meeting the demand for chickens raised to higher welfare standards, we continue to study alternative and slower-growing chicken breeds.
Organic and Free Range
All our organic and other free-range chickens are raised on farms that provide:
- Natural sunlight
- Open, fresh-air ventilation
- Enrichments, such as bales of hay or straw, that add complexity to the chickens' environment
- Access to outdoor areas that are typically at least half the size of the chicken house
- Multiple doors—situated approximately every 50 feet—running the length of the chicken house to encourage birds to go outdoors
- Sunshades or awnings over each doorway
- Outdoor water access
- Pastures with a mixture of grass and earthen areas, allowing the birds to forage and take dust baths
Global Animal Partnership Certified Farms
In addition, our organic chickens are raised on farms rated GAP 2 or higher by the Global Animal Partnership. On GAP 2–4 farms, to protect birds from the elements, they are allowed outside during the daytime once their feathers are fully developed, which is typically around 4 weeks of age. Birds may come indoors at night and when temperatures are too cold for their comfort. For GAP 5 farms, birds have outdoor perches and are allowed 24-hour access to the pasture area. This program uses a breed that is better suited to the outdoors.
Treating All the Chickens We Raise with Respect
We share with the farmers who raise our chickens a promise to treat the animals in our care with respect at all times. Mistreatment of animals is never tolerated. All associates handling live animals are provided training, including their responsibility to report any violations of our animal welfare policies. The farmers who raise animals for us share equal responsibility to provide care according to our best practices and standards and to alert us to any issues involving animal health or welfare.