Pilgrim’s is committed to providing the chickens under our care with comfortable and safe housing that meets their needs. Housing is key to protecting and improving the health and well-being of our chickens.
At Pilgrim’s, we contract with more than 5,400 family farm partners who raise breeder hens and broiler chickens. From the farmers’ barns to the Pilgrim’s production facilities, we require our team members and family farm partners to provide proper care to our chickens. Our family farm partners who raise our breeder hens, which produce hatching eggs, use fresh shavings as bedding material in hen houses. These shavings are clean, absorbent, free of sharp objects and resistant to fungal growth. Our service technicians visit our breeders weekly to monitor chicken health. At our hatcheries, the temperature in the chick-holding room is targeted for chick comfort based on their internal temperature. We monitor and document temperatures on an hourly basis, making any needed changes as soon as possible. We make sure our chicks have enough space to prevent overheating and that they are not placed under direct air flow that could cause them to become chilled. Before placing any chicks at a farmer’s broiler farm, we go through our pre-placement checklist to make sure the farm and houses are neat and orderly, ventilation and temperature are ideal for brooding, ammonia levels are appropriate and lighting and bedding are in line with program requirements. In addition, in Europe, we are pioneering industry-leading initiatives to continually improve the housing of our poultry by providing environmental enrichment, windows and provision activities, such as perches and bales.