Chickens reared for meat (broilers)

More meat chickens (also known as 'broilers') are farmed in the UK than any other type of farmed animal (with the exception of farmed fish). Unfortunately, the majority of meat chickens are reared to standards that we believe are not good enough in terms of animal welfare. We are working to improve the welfare of meat chickens at every stage of their lives. 

The behaviour of chickens:

Meat chickens still share many of the same behavioural drives as their wild ancestors, including:

  • Perching
    Chickens are strongly motivated to perch. In the wild, they perch in trees at night.
  • Investigation
    Chickens like to explore their environment, for example by pecking at objects and scratching at the ground.
  • Dustbathing
    Dustbathing helps to remove parasites and keep their skin and feathers in good condition. Chickens can use a suitable dry material (such as wood shavings, sand or fine soil) to bathe in.
  • Grooming
    This includes preening and feather ruffling.
  • Activity
    Chickens can run, wing flap and may 'spar' with others to establish their dominance.

If you are concerned about the welfare of meat chickens then find out how you can help.

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