National Chicken Council (NCC)

NCC standards do not meet BCC criteria for stocking density, enrichments, litter, lighting, slaughter, breed, or auditing. Please see below for more details, or download the full chart.

Better Chicken CommitmentNational Chicken Council (NCC)
Maximum Stocking Density6 lbs/sq ft❌ Ranges from 6.5 lbs/sq ft to 9.0 lbs/sq ft depending on bird weight
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❌ No measurable litter standards: “Litter should be loosely compacted when squeezed in the hand. If the litter remains in a clump when it is squeezed in the hand, it is too wet.”
LightingMinimum 8 hours of continuous light (≥50 lux) and 6 hours of continuous darkness daily (<1 lux)❌ Minimum of 4 hours of darkness daily (not required to be continuous)
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❌ No enrichments required
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❌ Allows chickens to be stunned using a live shackle “water bath” method. While fully conscious, the birds are hung upside down by their often injured legs in metal shackles, a process that’s extremely stressful for both the birds and slaughterhouse workers, and stunned by an electric bath. Because this method has low efficacy rates, birds are too frequently conscious during slaughter and are even boiled alive.
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).
  • No requirements for breeds with higher welfare outcomes
  • (The use of lower welfare fast-growing breeds directly correlates to serious health issues as well as meat quality issues such as white striping, wooden breast syndrome, and spaghetti meat.)
AuditingDemonstrate 100% compliance with all standards via third-party auditing❌ Audits require 1520 out of 1730 points, or 88% compliance


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 National Chicken Council Animal Welfare Guidelines And Audit Checklist For Broilers. For the complete official 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.