In my last blog, I talked about the October 21, 2010 New York Times article, New Way to Help Chickens Cross to Other Side, by William Neuman. I talked about how our new slow induction anesthesia (SIA) will be a more humane, low-stress system that gently puts the birds to sleep before they are processed.
But the story doesn’t end there.
SIA is the final step in years of work to create a lifecycle of humane animal compassion for our birds.
Over the years, we’ve developed The Bell & Evans Humane Animal Welfare Standard, our guidelines that govern all aspects of our chickens’ lives and insure they receive the highest standards of humane animal treatment… for their entire life, not just during processing…from the breeder and the farm, to transport and the processing plant. Over the next few weeks I will discuss how our birds are cared for in each phase of their life. Today I want to start at the beginning and talk about our breeder farms.
We carefully select our breeder chickens and raises them from chicks, so they’re sure they grow up strong and healthy. Fresh air, fresh water and our specially-formulated, all-vegetarian diet help assure the flock will remain healthy. Our breeders have spacious, well-ventilated houses that protect the chickens from the elements and predators, but still give them plenty of room to roam. We carefully control their environment. Too hot or too cold and chickens get stressed. Fans, heaters and side walls that open, allow fresh air to circulate in warm weather and keep the house at a comfortable temperature year round. We give the chickens special areas for socializing and the individual nests, with walls on three sides, give the hen a sense of security, while she’s laying her egg. We don’t artificially inseminate our chickens, they mate naturally. If you saw Food Inc., you saw how stressful it was for those birds. As with all Bell & Evans facilities, our farm families dedicate their lives to the health and welfare of our chickens. They enforce strict B&E Standards in care, feeding and bio-security to protect our flocks.
In my next blog, I’ll discuss how we care for our chicks on the farm.