Tracking Our Progress

See the details in our Company Stewardship Report.

We Keep Looking Forward

Treating animals with respect means going beyond the minimum to keep animals healthy and to produce safe food. We view animal care as a journey of continuous improvement, evolving with advancements in animal husbandry and behavior, consumer questions and public concerns. This responsibility stretches across all of our raising programs and is shared by the farm families we trust to raise animals for us.

Our programs are designed so that we can raise animals in a reduced-stress environment where we don’t need to rely on human or animal antibiotics to keep them healthy, and we never use drugs for growth promotion or artificial growth promoters.

 

Learn More

 

Eight New Animal Care Initiatives For 2022

As part of its commitment to continuous improvement, Perdue Farms announced at its sixth annual Animal Care Summit in October 2021 the following eight new animal care initiatives for 2022. During the summit, Perdue also shared key updates to the company’s annual stewardship initiatives, including on-farm hatch research, using RFID technology to track how free-range chickens access their pasture and establishment of A Young Farmer Development Group.

To ensure continuous improvement and compliance to our current programs, our activities follow these guiding principles:
  • 1.   CHICKEN BEHAVIOR TRAINING MODULE We will develop an educational module around chicken behavior and use it to train flock advisors.
  • 2.   PASTURE VEGETATION PREFERENCES We will establish a method to determine chicken preference for vegetation in the pastures of free-range and pasture-raised programs.
  • 3.   BROILER BREEDER ENRICHMENT We will begin to build an enrichment program for boiler breeders, assuming it is different from meat birds.
  • 4.   LITTER QUALITY METRIC We will develop a litter condition scoring method to be implemented across all operations, all farms, and all flocks.
  • 5.   HIGHER WELFARE HATCHING PRACTICES We will continue to research feasibility and potential benefits of other methods of on-farm hatch systems to determine viability in our operations.
  • 6.   SOCIAL ENRICHMENT FOR POULTRY We will consider if re-establishing the mother hen/chick relationship will benefit the chicken.
  • 7.   FREE-RANGE PASTURE CONTEST NO 2 We will complete our second free-range pasture contest in which we are challenging farmers to develop new ideas and tips for increasing range utilization. 
  • 8.   FREE-RANGE PASTURE UTILIZATION METRIC We will develop a low-tech method to measure pasture utilization within free-range housing.

100%of chickens, turkeys, hogs, cows and sheep are raised under no-antibiotics-ever protocols

100%of hog, cattle and lamb production are third-party verified humane animal care

100%of animals are raised under documented responsible care protocols

100%of animals are
pre-harvest stunned

100% of turkeys and hogs are controlled- atmosphere stunned

100%of farmers and associates handling live animals receive welfare training

52%of poultry houses have windows

26%of poultry have
enrichments

25%of poultry have
outdoor access

0growth-promoting
drugs

FREEToll-Free # hotline to report welfare violations

USDAProcess Verified Programs for
all poultry

Avoidance Of Close Confinement*

Perdue Farms is committed to the avoidance of confinement through all species. As of July 2021:

  • 100% of chickens are raised confinement free
  • 100% of turkeys are raised confinement free
  • 100% of lambs are raised confinement free and ranch-finished
  • 96% of beef cattle are raised confinement free and void of commercial feed lots
  • 59% of hogs are raised confinement free
  • 24% of poultry raised free range
  • 0% of milk and eggs used in ingredients are not confinement free; these ingredients only make up .06% of our total volume

Environmental Enrichment*

At Perdue Farms, we recognize that providing animals with appropriate, species-specific environmental enrichments can improve their living conditions and help encourage their natural behaviors. As of July 2021:

  • 100% of lambs are raised on pasture
  • 96% of beef cattle have enrichments, such as shade with dirt, corn cobs, stalks and other natural materials, sprinklers in warm weather; brush out in pasture for scratching posts; hedge rows, stacks of round bales and other wind breakers.
  • 31% of pigs have access to enrichments allowing the animals to exhibit natural behaviors. Commonly used enrichments include deep bedding (typically corn cobs, stalks and straw); grass, brush, wallows and trees when outdoors; hay or straw bales; and sprinklers when hot. 
  • 26% of chickens have enrichments, such as boxes, perches, platforms and pecking objects with natural light and outdoor access.
  • 0% of Perdue’s turkeys have enrichments
  • 0% of laying hens and dairy cows have enrichments; however, these proteins represent just .06% of the company’s overall business.

Avoidance Of Routine Activities*

Perdue Farms is committed to the routine avoidance of activities such as tail docking of pigs and cows, debeaking of chickens and toenail conditioning of turkeys. As of July 2021:

  • 100% of lambs are free from mulesing
  • 60% of dairy cows are free from tail docking
  • 59% of pigs are free from teeth clipping
  • 29% of pigs are free from tail docking
  • 0% of chickens are beak conditioned
  • 0% of turkeys are toenail conditioned
  • 0% of beef cows are tail docked

Stunning*

Our objective is to ensure that all animal species, including chicken, turkey, pork, beef, dairy cows, and lamb, are rendered insensible prior to being harvested. As of July 2021:

  • 100% of turkeys and 100% of hogs are rendered insensible prior to being harvested using controlled atmosphere stunning.
  • 100% of chickens, beef and lambs are rendered insensible prior to being harvested.
  • 100% of dairy cows and laying hens are rendered insensible prior to harvest by industry standards. They represent .06 percent of Perdue Farms’ total pounds across all brands, products and species.
  • 8% of our chickens are rendered insensible using controlled atmosphere stunning.

Transportation*

Travel times for all poultry and livestock are kept to a minimum and our goal is to not exceed eight hours. As of July 2021:

  • 71% of all species raised and sourced are traveling 8 hours or less
    • 90% of all lambs raised and source are traveling 8 hours or less
    • 88% of all cattle raised and sourced are traveling 8 hours or less
    • 75% of all chickens raised and sourced are traveling 8 hours or less
    • 56% of all pigs raised and sourced are traveling 8 hours or less
    • 30% of all turkeys raised and sourced are traveling 8 hours or less

Antibiotics*

  • 95.7% of all animals we raise are source for our portfolio of brands are no antibiotics ever.

Slowing Growth Potential in Chickens

  • 9.5% of chickens raised and sourced have an average of <55g per day gain over their growth cycle.

Welfare Outcome Goal

Our beef, lamb and pork programs are incorporating additional welfare outcome measurements, including a commitment to reduce lameness. Baselines, targeted improvements, and reporting will be established in the coming year.

 

*All species raised and sourced for Perdue Farms brands.

 

Openness & Transparency

As part of our pledge "to be transparent in our programs, goal and progresses," we committed to share key animal care metrics, openly criticize ourselves when appropriate, and honestly and respectfully answer those who constructively criticize us.

Audit ResultsPoultry Care Incident Report

Perdue Stewardship Updates

Farm Open Houses

We routinely invite people to tour our farms and plants. We encourage our farmers to be open to visitors within the constraints of biosecurity and business needs. Over the course of a year, a range of stakeholders, including retail and foodservice customers, media, advocacy groups, community members, students, and government representatives, visit our facilities. We track the number of tours by audience and have a goal to conduct 100 tours a year. We were only able to conduct 42 tours in 2021 because of pandemic-related restrictions.

Social Media: Perdue Farms Farmer Advocates Open Up

As part of its commitment to transparency about animal care, Perdue Farms is partnering with social-media-active farmers to help increase their visibility and share their stories with more people. Five Perdue Farms family farmers - Kenny Young (@KTYoungFarm), Laura Landis (@WorthTheWaitFarm), Val Nasir (@FollowValsFlock), Tara Green (@GreenGateFarmers_Wife) and Bobbi Jo Webber (@WebberFamilyFarm) - are creating social media content including educational pieces about raising chickens as well as stories about their history, farms, families and animals. They are passionate about farming, raising animals thoughtfully and always going the extra mile to produce a better tasting product, and enjoy educating their followers on social media about their work and what it takes to feed America.

By using the hashtags #PerdueProud and #PerdueFarms_FarmerAdvocate, their posts are shared across Perdue’s social media properties, enlightening Perdue Farms’ followers and reaching a wider audience for their information. The farmers periodically receive product samples from multiple Perdue brands for fun unboxing videos, as well as product bundles and gift certificates to help engage their audiences.

Look for our farmer advocates on all the Perdue social channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and TikTok.

On-Farm Learning Centers

Working with farm families we have established three on-farm Poultry Learning Centers in Georgia, Kentucky, and North Carolina. At these educational facilities, the family hosts guests of all ages for a transparent, interactive experience to learn about various aspects of poultry farming and proper animal care. Built seamlessly into the side of a working chicken house, each learning center includes a large viewing room that allows guests to observe the birds undisturbed in their environment. Educational videos explain what visitors see inside the chicken house, as well as the timeline from when farmers receive the birds to how they raise and care for them while they are on the farm. Additionally, guests have the opportunity for hands-on learning using actual poultry equipment that replicates what they see through the window, including mechanized feeders and waterers and automated temperature-control technology.

A Commitment To Continuous Improvement

We’re Exploring RFID Technology and On-Farm Hatching

While it’s one thing to say free-range chickens can access the outdoors, we want to go further to ensure we’re making it easy, and that the environment is what they want, and not what we think is best.

That’s why we’ve invested in Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) at one of our free-range poultry farms in Washington State to gather data on birds exiting and entering the “pophole” doors and time each bird spends in the pasture. Each bird is outfitted with a small tracking device on its leg that is wirelessly read by sensors on the inside and outside of the “pophole” doors to track the bird’s movements in and out of the house.

We believe this to be an industry first. While we have more work to nail down the technology, we believe in this approach of asking what the chicken wants and putting actual data behind our care practices.

Niman Ranch A Leading Voice In Crate-Free Movement

While it’s one thing to say free-range chickens can access the outdoors, we want to go further to ensure we’re making it easy, and that the environment is what they want, and not what we think is best.

For the nearly four-month pig gestation period, most sows (mom pigs) in the U.S. live in a gestation crate, a roughly 2-by-7-foot stall where the animals do not have enough room to even turn around, walk or socialize. When the sows are ready to give birth, they are moved to restrictive farrowing crates where they spend the next three to four weeks before going back to a gestation crate for breeding.

Since day one, Niman Ranch has banned the use of gestation and farrowing crates, believing intelligent animals like pigs deserve to have space to root, roam and exhibit their natural behaviors.

With multiple states and corporations setting policies and goals to end the use of crates, Niman Ranch has become a leading voice to highlight a better, more humane way to raise pigs. Niman Ranch farmers and company leadership were featured in numerous media outlets speaking on the topic, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Associated Press, CNN, Newsweek and more.

Corporate Stewardship Report

Company Stewardship Report

Learn about the steps we're taking to reach our goal of becoming the most trusted name in food and agricultural products.