Animal Welfare

The employees of Hy-Line International and our network of family farms understand the important contribution that our breeding flocks play in feeding millions of people around the world. To that end, we are committed to the humane and respectful treatment of each and every bird in our care. All of our employees are expected to be advocates for animal welfare. We have developed and implemented welfare policies that cover all aspects of bird management. Our employees and cooperators are specifically trained on the proper methods of handling birds to minimize distress or injury. Vaccinations against important poultry diseases and free access to nutritionally balanced diets are provided, giving our birds a healthy and safe living environment. Our flocks are under the supervision of caring veterinarians, nutritionists and flock supervisors at all times.

In addition, our breeding program incorporates welfare in numerous ways and evaluates a wide range of natural bird traits (such as egg production, fitness, life expectancy, behavior, disease resistance and egg quality). The overall goal our breeding program is to produce a robust commercial bird which performs well under a vast range of physical environments world-wide with the least impact on the environment as possible. Hy-Line does not use any type of “Genetically Modified Organism” or cloning anywhere in our breeding program. Rather, we only use established and universally accepted methods of natural genetic variation, evaluation and selection in our birds.

Welfare Goals and Principles

To promote animal well-being and produce birds of the highest quality, we adhere to the following welfare goals and principles. These goals and principles are the essential building blocks for the humane and professional care of our birds: 

• Feed and Water
  Provide access to good quality water and nutritionally balanced diets at all times

• Health and Veterinary Care
  Provide science-based health programs and prompt veterinary care

• Environment 
  Provide shelter that is designed, maintained and operated to meet the bird’s needs and to facilitate daily inspection

• Husbandry and Handling Practices
  Provide comprehensive care and handling procedures that ensure the bird’s well-being throughout its life

• Transportation
  Provide transportation that minimizes travel time and stress

Reporting Violations

In the event that any member of the general public may witness purposeful or willful neglect or abuse of our birds by employees or agents of Hy-Line, they may send a confidential email incident report to: Sufficient details (your name & telephone callback number, who, what, when & where, etc.) are needed in order for Hy-Line to act on these reports.      

If violations of our welfare policies occur and are witnessed by Hy-Line employees, then they are strictly required to report any abuse or violations of policies to any Manager, with Managers then reporting the incident to their Department Director and ultimately to the company President.

Audits and Updates 

Our welfare policies, practices, procedures and operational facilities undergo an annual documented audit, both internally by Hy-Line staff, and externally by recognized experts in the area of poultry welfare. It is the company’s goal to ensure that we maintain compliance with our own policies, but also with the latest developments in care and welfare practices when supported by research and practical experience.