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RSPCA welfare standards for laying hens

RSPCA welfare standards for laying hens cover © RSPCA Farm Animals Department

Our detailed RSPCA welfare standards have been developed to represent good practice in the care and welfare of commercially-farmed laying hens at all stages of their lives.


RSPCA welfare standards for laying hens (PDF 4.46MB)


Please also see the RSPCA Veterinary Health and Welfare Plan Guidance Notes for Laying Hens and Pullets (PDF: 191KB)


We've worked in collaboration with the Soil Association, research sector and industry to produce the laying hen feather cover advice guide (PDF: 572KB), providing guidance on improving feather cover in laying hens.


Please also see additional documents for feather loss monitoring and record sheet (PDF 811KB) and examples of perch placement (PDF 74KB)


RSPCA laying hen standards technical advisory group

Members of the advisory group are selected on the basis of the specific expertise they bring to the group in different areas of laying hen care. Members include:

  • Mia Fernyhough (RSPCA laying hen specialist)
  • Heleen van de Weerd (Chair)
  • Andrew Joret (Noble Foods/BEIC)
  • Roger Gill (Lakes Free Range)
  • Sarah Lambton (University of Bristol)
  • Richard Kempsey (Stonegate)
  • William Garton (Avivets)
  • A technical/field operations representative of Freedom Food Ltd
  • A representative of RSPCA field staff (Farm Livestock Officers) who monitor Freedom Food scheme members


For information on the group's discussions download:


Find out more about the consultation process for the development of the RSPCA welfare standards for farm animals.

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