At Sainsbury’s our values are at the heart
of everything we do. As part of our sustainability commitment we’ll source all
our meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products from suppliers who uphold our higher animal
health and welfare standards – standards that are independently verified.
All our chicken comes from farms which meet our own high welfare standards.
On-farm our chickens are housed in spacious sheds and barns. From day one the chicks
live in a barn, grow and develop together. Grouping each flock in this way is known as
an “all in, all out” system and is the best way
to control disease, an important factor in firstrate
animal welfare. As the chicks grow, the farmers are careful
to monitor the temperature and light in the sheds, so that their environment is controlled
to keep the birds as comfortable as possible. Water use is recorded every day,
and farmers regularly walk around the shed checking the birds look well, and are eating
and drinking. The chickens eat a specially formulated diet
to provide them with the protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals they need for healthy
growth Antibiotic feed additives and growth promoters
are not routinely used in our chickens’ feed, as this can lead to issues such as antibiotic
resistance – antibiotics, however, can be introduced for health and welfare reasons
when recommended by the farm’s vet. Chickens are naturally very curious animals,
so it’s important that they have an interesting environment. Our farmers provide
perching bales and comfortable bedding material, so the hens behave naturally.
The covering on the floor of a shed is known as litter. The quality of the litter is checked
regularly, and kept dry and crumbly – a good indicator of overall bird welfare.
We’ve been working with our suppliers to introduce windows in our chicken sheds so
the birds have plenty of natural light. We’re
also undertaking trials with suppliers, farmers and academics to keep improving bird welfare
on our chicken farms. All of these projects focus on the use of
welfare outcome measures. This lets us know what makes the animals the most happy and