Animal Welfare Approved

Animal Welfare Approved does not meet BCC standards for slaughter. Please see below for more details, or download the full chart.

Better Chicken CommitmentAmerican Welfare Approved (AWA)
Maximum Stocking Density6 lbs/sq ft✅ 0.67 sq. ft indoor space per bird plus outdoor foraging OR 2.67 sq. ft indoor space for birds with no outdoor access
LitterAt least 3 inches of friable litter covering the whole floor of the house, managed to maintain dry, friable condition and prevent caked or wet areas✅ “Bedding must be clean, dry, mold-free and replenished as needed.”
LightingMinimum 8 hours of continuous light (≥50 lux) and 6 hours of continuous darkness daily (<1 lux)
  • Birds must have outdoor access to forage and ranging areas for a minimum of 50% of daylight hours.
  • Poultry housing must be kept at an average of at least 20 lux in daylight hours.
  • Use of artificial light must not extend the maximum day-length beyond 16 hours.
EnrichmentsFor every 1,000 sq ft (93 sq m), or part 1000 sq ft (93 sq m) of indoor space there must be a minimum of 1 enrichment✅ Outdoor enrichments on pasture
SlaughterProcess chickens in a manner that avoids pre-stun handling and instead utilizes a multi-step controlled- atmosphere processing system that induces an irreversible stun
  • On farm slaughter is recommended and Controlled Atmosphere Killing (CAK), in which birds remain in their crates and their oxygen is slowly replaced by a mixture of argon, nitrogen, or carbon dioxide is the preferred slaughtering method
  • Shackling of live birds is not permitted without prior written consent
BreedAdopt breeds that demonstrate higher welfare outcomes, either: Hubbard Norfolk Black, JA757, JACY57, JA787, JA957, JA987, JACY87, REDBRO, or Redbro M; Aviagen Rambler Ranger, Ranger Classic, Ranger Gold, Ranger Premium, or Rowan Ranger; Cobb-Sasso 200 (CS200); Cooks Venture Pioneer, or others that meet the criteria of the RSPCA Broiler Breed Welfare Assessment Protocol or Global Animal Partnership (GAP).
  • Breeds and strains must be chosen with consideration of their ability to thrive in the prevailing climatic conditions of the farm, in pasture-based, free range, outdoor systems.
  • When averaged over their entire lives, the rate of growth of meat chickens must not exceed 0.088 lbs (40 g) per day.
AuditingDemonstrate 100% compliance with all standards via third-party auditing✅ 100% compliance with standards


Please note: This document is not intended to be used for official purposes such as auditing. It is a general summary of the key components of the Better Chicken Commitment and Animal Welfare Approved standards. For the complete standards, please reference the resources below:

We are committed to providing customers a sustainable supply of chicken that meets all 2024 animal welfare criteria outlined in the Better Chicken Commitment.