Poultry International - February 2018 - 21
PoultryInternational ❙ 21
to accomplish. The AssureWel scheme only uses seven
measurements for laying hens: feather loss, bird dirtiness,
beak trimming, antagonistic behaviors, flightiness, birds
needing further care and mortality. She said this evaluation can be completed in around 15 minutes per house and
doesn't require the assessor to handle any of the birds.
The AssureWel scheme for broiler welfare is a little
more complicated than for layers and consists of four
parts: the whole flock assessment, defined walk, individual measures and on-farm record.
AssureWel is a collaborative project of the RSPCA, the
University of Bristol and the Soil Association.
Future poultry welfare standards
Mench said any outcome-based measures selected for
use in a welfare scheme need to have an importance to welfare, can be easily and accurately measured, and be things
that producers can actually do something about through
changes in management. She said some resource-based
measurements might still be included in future welfare
Mench suggested that, for layers, perch space per hen
based on the size of the hens might be one resource-based
welfare standard that is included along with outcomebased standards in the future. She expects that some
behavioral measures will also be included. Mench said
the retailers she has had contact with are interested in
The opportunity for continuous improvement is one
of the key benefits of outcome-based welfare measures.
Mench said producers will need to set either regional
or national benchmarks compete against. She also said
outcome-based welfare measures will fail if critical limits
are not established. ■
Poultry growers, processors, and
retailers need non-antibiotic solutions
to meet today's consumer demands.
Original XPC™ works naturally with the
biology of the bird to help strengthen
the immune system.
A strong immune system promotes:
PAnimal health & well-being
PMore efficient production
PSafer food from farm to table
Immune Strength for Life™
B U I L D I N G O N
D I A M O N D V
February 2018 ❙ www.WATTAgNet.com
For more information, call +1.319.366.0745 or visit www.diamondv.com