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Housing Confinement Contingency Plans

Developing a ‘housing confinement contingency plan’ in case your free-range birds have to be kept indoors is always a prudent move. As of October 2023, this is not a welfare standards requirement for poultry, but it is recommended by the RSPCA’s poultry welfare experts.

A contingency plan will help you prepare and safeguard the welfare of free-range birds if they need to be kept indoors. Should the worst happen, your plans could provide details of on-farm mass culling protocols or methods that can be used at your site.

The RSPCA recommends poultry buildings are designed for whole-house gas killing as a last resort, to avoid the need for less humane culling methods.

Your Plan Could Also Include:
  • Additional biosecurity measures
  • Details of extra enrichment items to encourage activity and provide interest for your flock
  • Litter management to prevent heavily worn or poached areas from forming
  • Dustbathing provisions and how these will be managed
  • Actions to take if your birds show high levels of aggression and feather pecking. For example, adding novel enrichment items to redirect pecking behaviour or physical barriers in the system to provide refuge areas.

For further advice on how to ensure the welfare of your flock during the high-risk AI period, contact us and we will do our best to help.

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