Welfare of laying hens and pullets: guidance

Guidance about the needs of laying hens and pullets and how to meet these needs in accordance with good practice.

Note in relation to holdings of fewer than 350 hens

8. Although not legal requirements for smaller flocks, the additional requirements that apply to holdings of 350 or more laying hens (such as those relating to nesting, perching, scratch areas and stocking density) are nevertheless still recommended as good practice in relation to smaller flocks of laying hens (and single laying hens). The recommendations in this guidance regarding enrichment provision, range access and reduction of the risk of injurious pecking are recommended as good practice for all holdings, regardless of size. Sections which have particular relevance for keepers of smaller flocks have been highlighted with a blue star throughout. (Hard copy and PDF only. Not available in HTML version.)

9. Remember that if you have 50 or more hens, the law states that you must register with the poultry register operated by APHA on behalf of the Scottish Ministers . But even if you have fewer birds, it's still a good idea to register. If you have registered, APHA will be able to contact you if there's a disease outbreak (such as bird flu) in your area, and you'll also help prevent the spread of disease and protect the national poultry flock.


Email: Animal.Health@gov.scot

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