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HOUSING, SHELTER AND HANDLING FACILITIES

Version 5.0

Key – Those standards which have greater significance (all other standards are normal)

Recommendation – Those which do not affect certification

New – A completely new standard which the member must now adhere to

Revised – A standard that has changed and requires the member to take some different or additional action to before

Upgraded – The standard has been upgraded to a Key standard or from a Recommendation to a full standard

Appendix – Referenced in ‘How you will be measured’. Indicates that additional information is provided in the Appendices, which are available at the end of each section.

This icon indicates that a record is required.

Where to find help – at the end of each section we have indicated where you can get extra guidance if you need it.

Aim:

HOUSING, SHELTER AND HANDLING FACILITIES

EW.HF.1 Key

Standards

Housing/Hatchery must be constructed and maintained to provide a safe and secure environment for birds/chicks. (Revised)

How you will be measured

EW.HF.1.a

Housing securely contains birds.

EW.HF.1.b

There are no sharp edges, projections or other features presenting a hazard to birds

EW.HF.1.c

Electrical installations are inaccessible to birds/chicks.

EW.HF.1.1

Standards

The sound level in housing must be minimised. (Revised)

How you will be measured

EW.HF.1.1.a

Ventilation fans, feeding machinery and other equipment is constructed, placed, operated and maintained in a way that causes the least amount of noise.

EW.HF.2

Standards

Housing/hatchery must be appropriately and effectively ventilated. (Revised)

How you will be measured

EW.HF.2.a

Ventilation minimises high humidity, build-up of odours and maintains a comfortable temperature.

EW.HF.2.b

A documented ventilation plan is in place.

EW.HF.2.c

Concentration of Ammonia should not exceed 20ppm.

EW.HF.2.d

Concentration of Carbon Dioxide should not exceed 3000ppm at the level of the birds heads.

EW.HF.2.e

The average relative humidity measured inside a house during a 48 hour period should not exceed 70% when the outside temperature is below 10°C.

Ventilation plan

EW.HF.2.1

Standards

Temperature records must be kept.

How you will be measured

EW.HF.2.1.a

Records kept of minimum and maximum daily temperatures at bird/chick level.

Temperature records

EW.HF.2.2

Standards

A written policy must be in place outlining recognition of and procedures to be followed in the event of heat or cold stress occurring. (Revised)

How you will be measured

EW.HF.2.2.a

Heat stress policy and ventilation plan is implemented.

EW.HF.2.2.b

Policy reviewed in the event of bird losses due to an exceptional weather incident.

Heat and cold stress policy

EW.HF.3

Standards

Floors must be constructed and maintained in a manner that minimises the risk of injury.

How you will be measured

EW.HF.3.a

Floors in fixed housing are made of concrete or asphalt.

EW.HF.3.b

Floors are well drained.

EW.HF.3.c

Floor surface is above outside ground level.

EW.HF.4 Key

Standards

Conditions within the housing must be maintained in a manner that ensures birds are able to keep clean. (Revised)

How you will be measured

EW.HF.4.a

A written cleaning and disinfection policy in place, which contains: - cleaning and disinfection procedures for house, house furniture and water tanks at each turn around - handling of waste materials; litter, packaging, feed spillages - details of Defra approved disinfectants and detergents used, including safe usage, storage and dilution

EW.HF.4.b

A written cleaning and/or disinfection policy for bulk feed bins which: - Is being implemented - Contains a risk assessment for cleaning bulk feed bins, including health and safety considerations

EW.HF.4.c

Whenever bird accommodation is emptied it is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected in accordance with the policy.

EW.HF.4.d

Swabs are taken for environmental bacteria and are cultured in a Government approved laboratory – records are kept of these tests.
  • Cleaning and disinfection policy
  • Bulk bin cleaning and/or disinfection policy
  • Environmental bacteria test records

EW.HF.4.1

Standards

Surfaces within housing/hatchery must be in good condition and must be able to be cleaned and disinfected.

EW.HF.4.2

Standards

Flocks are provided with clean, fresh bedding to a minimum depth of 2cm.

How you will be measured

EW.HF.4.2.a

Products which expand to a minimum depth of 2cm can be used.

EW.HF.4.3

Standards

Bedding must remain in a dry, friable condition.

How you will be measured

EW.HF.4.3.a

Wet capped litter is managed.

EW.HF.4.4

Standards

Bedding stored in the open is stored on pallets and is covered.

How you will be measured

EW.HF.4.4.a

The cover provides protection from water, birds and vermin.

EW.HF.4.4.b

Damaged bales are not used.

EW.HF.4.6

Standards

Trays used for on-farm hatching of eggs must be cleaned and disinfected before return to the hatchery.

How you will be measured

EW.HF.4.6.a

Only trays dedicated for on-farm hatching are used.

EW.HF.4.6.b

Defra approved disinfectants are used.

Cleaning and disinfection policy

EW.HF.5

Standards

Housing/hatchery must be lit to allow normal behaviours, rest and effective inspection of birds/chicks. (Revised)

How you will be measured

EW.HF.5.b

Reductions in lighting made only on advice of vet.

EW.HF.5.d

Lighting intensity is at least 50 lux provided by natural daylight through the provision of windows which equate to a minimum of 3% of the floor area.

EW.HF.5.e

Artificial light can be used to supplement daylight on dark days.

Light level records

EW.HF.5.1

Standards

Lighting follows a 24 hour rhythm. (Revised)

How you will be measured

EW.HF.5.1.a

Lighting patterns for the flock are recorded.

EW.HF.5.1.b

24 hour rhythm includes: - period of uninterrupted darkness lasting at least 6 hours - a minimum of 8 hours natural daylight or artificial light

EW.HF.5.1.c

This occurs within seven days of the chickens being placed in the building and until three days before foreseen slaughter.

EW.HF.5.1.e

Natural daylight is provided at all times during the natural daylight period from at least 5 days of age.

Lighting Pattern records

EW.HF.5.6

Standards

Windows must be fitted in all buildings which house birds.

How you will be measured

EW.HF.5.6.a

The translucent area of the windows equates to a minimum of 3% of the floor area.

EW.HF.5.6.b

Windows are evenly distributed along the side panels providing uniform daylight throughout the building.

EW.HF.5.6.c

Windows are double glazed to provide insulation and prevent condensation.

EW.HF.5.6.d

Where glass is used it is laminated or toughened on the inside for added safety.

EW.HF.5.6.e

Shutters are fitted in order that daylight can be closed out if required (e.g. during extremely hot or cold days).

EW.HF.5.6.f

Shutters are open from day 5 during daylight hours unless veterinary advice states otherwise.

EW.HF.6 Key

Standards

Housing/chick areas must be of sufficient size. (Revised)

How you will be measured

EW.HF.6.a

Birds are not kept in cages or multi-tier systems.

EW.HF.6.b

Realistic Key Performance Indicators are used when planning stocking densities.

EW.HF.6.c

Key Welfare Indicators are not compromised by stocking regime, particularly in relation to weather conditions.

EW.HF.6.f

Stocking density must not exceed 30kg/m2.
  • Chick placement records
  • Flock weight records

EW.HF.6.1

Standards

Houses must have plates which highlight important information.

How you will be measured

EW.HF.6.1.a

Plates list: - total floor space available to the birds - number of feeders and drinkers - feed bin capacity

EW.HF.6.2

Standards

If thinning is practiced, it must be limited to one thin per flock.

EW.HF.7

Standards

Housing areas must provide for the specific needs of young birds.

How you will be measured

EW.HF.7.a

On arrival, chicks are placed in pre-heated housing as soon as possible.

EW.HF.7.1

Standards

Where eggs are hatched on-farm they must not be allowed to cool on placement. (Revised)

How you will be measured

EW.HF.7.1.a

On arrival, eggs are placed in housing pre-heated to 34-35C, or a temperature that achieves a litter surface temperature of 30°.

EW.HF.7.1.b

Egg shell temperature is monitored and recorded an hour post placement, and then every 3 hours until the egg temperature has stabilised (between 36-38.5C), otherwise temperatures should continue to be checked 3 times a day until over 50% of chicks have hatched.

Temperature records

EW.HF.7.2

Standards

Where eggs are hatched on-farm, chicks must be able to easily reach the floor after hatching.

How you will be measured

EW.HF.7.2.a

Maximum drop is 35cm.

EW.HF.8

Standards

Automatic equipment is inspected once a day.

How you will be measured

EW.HF.8.a

Records kept of: - checks - malfunctions - rectifications

Equipment inspection records

EW.HF.8.1

Standards

An alternative power supply must be available which is capable of supplying all essential electrical systems within the poultry houses/hatchery.

How you will be measured

EW.HF.8.1.a

Malfunctions are rectified immediately.

EW.HF.8.1.b

Generators are tested weekly on load.

EW.HF.8.2

Standards

An alarm system must be in place which alerts stockmen to ventilation equipment failure.

How you will be measured

EW.HF.8.2.a

Alarm system responds to high and low temperatures and to failures in each phase of the mains electricity.

EW.HF.8.2.b

Alarm systems are checked daily and records kept of: - checks - malfunction - rectifications

EW.HF.8.2.c

Alarm system works without mains power supply.
  • Alarm system checks
  • Alarm test records

EW.HF.9

Standards

Fire prevention measures must be taken.

How you will be measured

EW.HF.9.a

Safe use and storage of flammable/combustible materials.

EW.HF.9.b

Every building exceeding 30m in length has two doors and complies with relevant Building Regulations, particularly with regard to fire escape exits.

EW.HF.9.c

Access to building is restricted.

EW.HF.9.d

Buildings are secure.

EW.HF.9.e

Smoking is restricted to designated areas only.

EW.HF.9.f

Machinery undergoes routine maintenance.

EW.HF.9.g

Escape routes and passages are kept clear at all times.

EW.HF.9.h

Notices are displayed in all main houses of the nearest telephone point.