NFACC Comparison

The Better Chicken Commitment (BCC) is the leading set of standards for broiler welfare driving the food industry towards higher welfare practices. The BCC does not conflict with the current standards of the National Farm Animal Care Council (NFACC). It is a more comprehensive policy that addresses key chicken welfare standards missing from NFACC Codes of Practice.

Stocking Density
Better Chicken CommitmentNFACC Code
  • Maximum stocking density of 30 kg/sq. meter and prohibit broiler cages.
  • The maximum stocking density is 31 kg/sq. meter but it can be increased to 38 kg/sq. meter if certain conditions are met.
Litter
Better Chicken CommitmentNFACC Code

Standards with measurable litter quality:

  • Floors of all houses must be covered with a minimum total of 7.6 cm of non-toxic litter.
  • Litter must be managed so it is friable and no more than 10% of the littered area is caked.
  • If litter is not completely removed (i.e. cleaned out) between flocks, all caked litter must be removed between flocks, and top dressed as necessary so that the entire floor is covered to a total minimum litter depth of 7.6 cm.
  • Litter must be of quality and quantity to provide a comfortable environment and allow for dust-bathing behavior and foraging/scratching.
  • A Soiled Feather Assessment must be conducted for each flock between 15-20 days of age.

Guidelines with no measurable litter quality:

  • Bedding that is provided must not be harmful or toxic to birds.
  • Bedding or litter must be available to provide opportunities for birds to express normal behaviours (e.g. scratching, foraging, dust bathing).
  • Litter condition must be monitored daily and action taken immediately to improve poor litter conditions (i.e. litter that is too wet or too dry).
  • Fresh bedding must be provided for chicks and poults at placement.
Lighting
Better Chicken CommitmentNFACC Code
  • Light intensity in housing during daylight hours must be at least 50 lux.
  • Chickens must be provided daily with at least 8 hours of continuous light and at least 6 hours of continuous darkness (<1 lux) throughout their lives.
  • Light intensity must be adequate during the light period to allow birds to navigate their surroundings (e.g. 5 to 10 lux).
  • Daily dark period of 4 hours that must be no more than 20% of the light intensity of the light period.
Enrichments
Better Chicken CommitmentNFACC Code
  • For every 93 sq. meter of indoor space there must be a minimum of 1 enrichment.
  • Indoor enrichments must be provided by the time chicks are 10 days old and maintained throughout the life of the chickens.
  • Examples include, but are not limited to, bales of straw or hay, raised platforms and perches, provision of forages or brassicas, and scattered grains. Dust-baths and litter are not considered enrichments.
  • There are no requirements for enrichments.
Processing
Better Chicken CommitmentNFACC Code
  • Process chickens in a manner that avoids pre-stun handling and instead utilizes a multi-step controlled-atmosphere processing system that induces an irreversible stun.
  • There are no requirements for slaughter.
Breed
Better Chicken CommitmentNFACC Code
  • Adopt breeds that demonstrate higher welfare outcomes, either: Hubbard JA757, 787, 957, 987, or Norfolk Black; Rambler Ranger, Ranger Classic, or Ranger Gold; or others that meet the criteria of the RSPCA Broiler Breed Welfare Assessment Protocol or Global Animal Partnership (GAP).
  • There are no requirements for breeds with higher welfare outcomes.
Compliance
Better Chicken CommitmentNFACC Code
  • Demonstrate compliance with all standards via third-party auditing.
  • Chicken Farmers of Canada conducts third-party audits.

Download NFACC Comparison

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