Myths / Q&A

Small Wire Cages

1. Introduction

At Astral, broiler chickens are reared in large chicken houses, specifically designed to provide ample floor space, comfortable temperature, fresh air, free access to nutritious feed, potable water and suitable light intensity and duration. Broiler houses are either closed (artificially ventilated) or open-sided (naturally ventilated).

Strict hygiene standards are maintained through cleaning of floors and equipment with detergents (soap) followed by disinfection (sanitation) at the end of each production cycle. Bacterial tests are regularly conducted on cleaned floors and equipment to ensure the efficacy of cleaning chemicals and methods. This practice eliminates disease-causing organisms, thereby improving bird health.

The floors in all houses are bedded with good quality wood shavings, sunflower husks or wheat straw which keep the birds dry and warm and enable them to scratch and wallow. The bedding that our chicks are placed on in the houses is turned to prevent excessively wet or uncomfortable conditions.

None of our chickens are ever reared in cages.

2. Background

Astral fully complies with the broiler production Code of Practice (2004) issued by the South African Poultry Association.

3. Astral's Standard Practices

Day-old broiler chicks are placed into large specifically designed houses which are heated to a comfortable temperature. Additionally, the houses are ventilated and temperature-controlled to make sure that our chickens are raised in an optimal environment. This includes free and easy access to safe feed and clean water.

The lighting period is kept longer during the first few days of the birds' life in order to encourage them to eat and drink. Once the chicks have acclimatised to the new environment, lighting is adjusted to enable them to sleep naturally, as they may require.

To ensure that our chickens remain healthy, Astral's team of veterinarians continually monitor and respond appropriately to the health status of our flocks.