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A deep dive into chicken labels: Criteria

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REPORT BY CRITERIA
   -Prudent antibiotic use
   -Prohibits growth hormones
   -Prohibits animal byproducts in the diet
   -GMOs in feed
   -Prohibits synthetic pesticides/ fertilizers in feed production
   -Prohibits synthetic amino acids
   -Limit on rapid weight gain
   -Outdoor access
   -Indoor enrichment
   -Indoor space
   -Air quality
   -Artificial light and darkness
   -Catching and crating
   -Transport time limit
   -Natural v. dim light
   -Slaughter treatment
   -Slaughter line speed
REPORT BY LABEL
FULL REPORT: ALL CRITERIA AND LABELS

Indoor space

Chicken houses generally hold tens of thousands of birds. While the birds are not caged and are free to move about, each chicken has approximately 0.7 square feet of space. Such overcrowding does not allow the birds to walk freely, stretch or flap their wings. Crowded conditions can also compromise the chicken's immunity, leading to an increased need for medications including antibiotics.

Indoor space: Criteria key

industry baseline. Programs that require a stocking density of 6.5 lb/ft2 or higher do not exceed the industry baseline.

stocking density does not exceed 6.5/ft2.

stocking density does not exceed 5 lb/ft2 which is roughly equivalent to 1 ft2 per bird for a 5-pound bird

At least 1.75 ft2 per bird, or the chickens are raised on pasture and the indoor space is used primarily for sleeping. Note: When welfare programs require that the chickens be raised on pasture, indoor space requirements are less important since the birds can use the outdoor space for exercise and the indoor space is used primarily at night for sleeping.



Indoor space: How labels stack up against criteria

CHICKEN LABELS REPORT - Criteria: Indoor space
Label Indoor space How label stacks up against criteria
Conventional

American Humane Association Certified

density must be at least 7 lb/ft2
Animal Welfare Approved

0.67 ft2 per bird; birds are raised on pasture and indoor space is primarily for sleeping
Certified Humane

density must not exceed 6 lb/ft2
Certified Naturally Grown

minimum of 1.75 ft2 per bird; birds have meaningful access to the outdoors
Demeter Biodynamic

Housing must allow animals to move freely; no more than 3000 chickens per house; chickens are raised on pasture or with access to large open air run, and indoor space is primarily for sleeping.
Food Alliance

Density does not exceed 5.25 lb/ft2
Free Range

GAP Step 1

density must not exceed 7.5 lb/ft2
GAP Step 2

density must not exceed 7 lb/ft2
GAP Step 3

density must not exceed 6.5 lb/ft2
GAP Step 4

density must not exceed 6 lb/ft2
GAP Step 5

density must not exceed 5.5 lb/ft2
chickens are raised on pasture and indoor space is primarily for sleeping.
GAP Step 5+

density must not exceed 5.5 lb/ft2
chickens are raised on pasture and indoor space is primarily for sleeping.
Natural or All Natural

No antibiotics administered

USDA Organic

Vegetarian Fed or No Animal By-Products

Humanely Raised

No growth hormones

Kosher

USDA Process Verified - Never Ever 3

USDA Process Verified - Humanely Raised (National Chicken Council Welfare Standards)

depending on target weight, from 6.5 to 8.5 lb/ft2
Non-GMO Project Verified


See the full report with all labels and criteria


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