We take responsibility for our chickens at every stage of the process. We select chicks from trusted suppliers who satisfy our high husbandry standards and have 100% control of what happens from the day old chicks to the chicken that we deliver to our customers.
We pride ourselves on our high levels of animal welfare and employ a team of Site Managers who look after our chickens and Animal Welfare Officers who ensure that they benefit from the highest standards of welfare at all stages of rearing, transport and processing.
We are proud of our Red Tractor accreditation and work tirelessly to exceed its standards in terms of animal welfare and husbandry. We operate a target zero antibiotic policy and use pre and probiotics to safeguard the chickens’ gut health.
As part of our Target Zero Antibiotic Policy, we use natural pre and probiotics to improve the chicks’ gut health. In 2018, we were one of the first to trial butyrate (an organic acid that enhances gut acidity) on a crop of Christmas Cockerels and went 70 days without the use of antibiotics. Our holistic approach to animal welfare has resulted in an 82% reduction in the use of antibiotics over the last five years. We swab the sheds and clean and test the water lines for specific bacteria, as opposed to a general Total Variable Count after every crop. This is part of our whole biome approach that sees the whole housing environment as its own ecosystem that needs to be in balance.
We work in partnership with our vets to prevent disease as well as treating it. We share ideas about continuous improvement and high animal welfare standards. In their capacity as a consultant rather than a pharmacy, we work together on everything from health plans to water management. All of the farms have boreholes that are a source of natural, chalk filtered water and we keep the water fresh with an auto flushing system.
We limit the chickens’ potential exposure to disease with high biosecurity measures that includes a trial boot sensor technology that detects if outdoor footwear is worn inside the chicken sheds.
With the measures above, we exceed many of the expectations of the Red Tractor Farm Assured chicken and believe that our people, our animal husbandry methods and short journey times to the factory are among the reasons that we have won so many awards for the great taste of our chicken.