Healthier, environmentally friendly chickens

In Europe, green technologies are improving animal welfare


McDonald's 2014 Best of Sustainable Supply Awards 
Award category:
Animal health and welfare
Awards: Strengthening rural farming communities | Healthier, environmentally friendly chickens | Breaking the cocoa survival cycle | Sustainable corn for China | Sweetly sustainable Truvia® | Greater canola yields per acre | Learning sustainable palm


McDonald's sustainable supply chain award. Animal health and welfare. Cargill.Litter quality in housing facilities can strongly influence a chicken’s leg health. We wondered: Do green technologies offer better solutions for keeping litter in a drier, more friable state that positively impacts animal welfare?

Turns out, they do. As part of a wide range of trials and research activities, a team in our European poultry business conducted an evaluation involving more than two dozen chicken houses in the U.K. and France to measure the effect of advanced renewable technologies. They investigated the impact of switching to renewable, indirect biomass heating sources outside the houses and the use of heat exchangers to recover energy. They explored whether this technology linked with “reverse flow” ventilation systems—fans in the roof with side-wall air inlets—provided additional benefits.

At the end of the day, it was clear that the chickens’ leg health was improved. And analysis of energy usage confirmed that the renewable technologies reduced the carbon footprint of the chicken houses by around 30 percent.

Happier birds, happier planet.

Cargill Meats Europe

Visit Cargill Meats Europe to learn about poultry products.

McDonald's Best of Sustainable Supply 2014

Visit the McDonald’s Best of Sustainable Supply website to read more stories about the other winning projects.