EFSA scientific opinion on welfare of day-old chicks: NestBorn is the future-proof choice!

On the 7th of September ’22, EFSA (European Food Safety Agency) published a series of scientific opinions with recommendations to improve animal welfare during transport. In these opinions, there was also a specific focus on hatcheries and day-old chicks (click here for the summary).

The main recommendation of EFSA, is that “the only way to avoid the welfare consequences during transport is to not transport chicks and have the fertilized eggs transported and hatched on farm”. Secondly, in order to prevent day-old chicks experiencing prolonged hunger and thirst, EFSA also judges that “the maximum time before first access to feed and water must not exceed 48 hours; this time should be measured from the first chicks to hatch until the last chick has access to feed and water”.

Only with on-farm hatching, both the first and second welfare recommendations are fulfilled ! Traditional hatcheries are meeting none of these recommendation, and early feeding in the hatchery is not offering a solution for the major EFSA recommendation, because chicks transport is still present.

Furthermore, EFSA also states “good animal welfare practices not only promote intrinsic animal wellbeing but also help to make animals healthier. This is a key element for the safety of the food chain considering the close links between animal welfare, animal health and food-borne diseases, in line with the One Health principle”. In simple words : a happy chick(en) is a healthy chicken and this leads to less utilization of antibiotics, less risk of disease transmission and a better quality end product. All at the benefit of consumer & society.

Click here for the infographic
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