Perdue says 25 percent of chickens now have outdoor access

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Perdue Farms photo

Perdue Farms says it is leading the industry in raising chickens with outdoor access and recently expanded its free-range product offerings under its  Perdue  Harvestland brand.

Perdue achieved its goal to provide outdoor access in 25 percent of its chicken houses by January 2020.

Perdue employs 3,100 in Delaware.

“We are constantly addressing not only the needs of our chickens, but also their wants. This includes providing them with the freedom and environment to express normal behavior,” said Dr. Bruce Stewart-Brown, of the American College of Poultry Veterinarians and senior vice president of live production and technology innovation for Perdue Farms. “In our experience, encouraging natural activity for our chickens is a component to maintaining their overall health. We believe there is a correlation between chickens raised with outdoor access and producing a better chicken for the consumer.”

Perdue family farmers converted nearly 700 chicken houses from conventional growing operations to meet free-range standards, including adding windows, environmental enrichments, and safe outdoor access – the vast majority of which the company subsidized.

“Perdue is leading the way among the top poultry producers when it comes to raising the bar on the treatment of chickens,” said Josh Balk, vice president of farm animal protection at the Humane Society of the United States. “Nearly 200 food companies — from fast food to family dining to foodservice — have committed to exclusively sourcing chicken meat from farms that meet higher welfare standards. Perdue is doing the right thing while gaining a competitive advantage. In the meantime, other major producers aren’t making improvements and are even resisting progress. They’ll lose out in the marketplace as Perdue meets the demand for a better way of farming.”

Perdue Farms offers free-range and organic chicken products under its Perdue Harvestland and Perdue Simply Smart Organics labels. All Perdue chickens are raised with no antibiotics, no hormones or steroids added and fed an all-vegetarian diet with no animal by-products.

The company details progress toward its goals and targets in its annual Company Stewardship Report, and during its annual Animal Care Summit.

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