Humans treated like animals? Desirable!

We could talk about the attention paid to companion animals, which often far exceeds, we might safely say exceeds, that reserved for sapiens.

dog and cat
But here we are dealing with poultry farming and so … although the title of this article might sound like a joke, if you knew how much care chickens and hens receive before they even become chickens and hens many humans would feel envious.


Rather than welfare, it would actually be more appropriate to speak of comfort designed specifically to welcome and accompany fertilised eggs and chicks on their way to their places of growth and rearing. This is a worldwide commitment of the poultry industry followed at every point of the chain. For example:

  • Environments housing fertilised eggs or chicks are carefully disinfected both at the place of birth and during transport and at each stage of transition from one environment to another;
  • each room is equipped with humidity, temperature and air quality controls;
  • the chicks are vaccinated one by one;
  • In order to ensure the even preventive welfare of fertilised eggs and chicks during transport, experts in international shipping and logistics are constantly urged by the poultry industry to commit themselves to ensuring the safety and comfort of eggs and chicks that have to be transported from one place to another to continue their growth;
  • Among the various rules, the selection of air or road vehicles is particularly important;
    • in the case of road vehicles, it is expressly required that transport be carried out by vehicles equipped with air suspension to avoid any jolting that could damage the shell or cause vital parts in the egg to become detached

These attentions obviously generate significant costs, but they are met with the knowledge that they are necessary and that the care of eggs and chicks at every stage ensures their well-being.

Among the airfreight shippers that have embraced these important practices is JAS, which recently opened two new state-of-the-art, environmentally controlled chick transit lounges within its London Heathrow warehouse. These are basically ‘animal lounges’, specialised spaces that provide chicks with a comfortable temporary home before departure. Spaces designed in close collaboration with key players in the poultry industry to ensure the well-being of the chicks.

Each room is equipped with digital control panels that are used to ensure the ideal temperature, humidity and ventilation. These attentions are also replicated and applied on board aircraft dedicated to this service for the duration of the journey. Read more at this link:


Think of the maternity ward of the sapiens. Fertilised eggs also have a very similar department called an incubator. However, the care in hatcheries is much more extreme than in the realities we can find in our hospitals.

The fertilised eggs are protected with a special form of isolation, housed in hyper-controlled hatcheries in which the presence of people is limited and, when necessary, each person admitted (including any instruments that a veterinarian brings with him, for example) may only enter one-way paths (in the sense that no return to the same path is allowed) after a procedure that involves complete undressing, complete showering (for objects there is an ad hoc path for their sterilisation) and dressing in disposable clothing.


The environmentally protective conditions generated in hatcheries facilitate the uniform treatment of each egg, enabling all chicks to be hatched almost simultaneously.

All the chicks hatched ‘in that hatchery at that time’ are therefore de facto peers who will all be transferred to their respective flocks with the same care and attention as when they were in the egg.


The editorial staff of M.A.C.