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Pilgrim’s® is a fully integrated poultry operation, meaning that other than ingredients for feeds, we raise our own chickens without purchasing outside the company.

We have our own laying hen operations that produce the eggs that will go into our hatcheries to produce the baby chicks. The chicks then go to contract grow-out operations where the birds are raised to market age. Pilgrim’s has a very intensive Animal Welfare program that is designed to meet or exceed the requirements as set forth in the National Chicken Council’s Animal Welfare Guidelines.

These Guidelines are recognized throughout the poultry industry as the definitive measure of Good Commercial Practices for chickens. These Practices cover all areas of poultry production from the laying hen operations through the hatcheries, grow-out facilities, transportation and processing.


Each poultry facility has an Animal Welfare Team that is comprised of Team Members from the live chicken growing operations, processing , quality assurance and human resources that ensure that the policies and procedures required by the Animal Welfare Policy, including annual training of all employees, are being correctly implemented and followed at all times.

Pilgrim’s has 6 certified PAACO Animal Welfare Auditors that are strategically located throughout the U.S. to assist all of our facilities. PAACO Auditors are located in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and Virginia. This allows any of our facilities to have access to one or more PAACO Auditors within a very short timeframe if a need arises. All of our facilities have Animal Welfare Audits on a minimum of an annual basis conducted by 3rd Party PAACO Auditors, internal PAACO Auditors or both.

At the processing plants, both Pilgrim’s Quality Assurance personnel and USDA Inspectors monitor the Animal Welfare practices at the processing plants daily to ensure that birds are handled and humanely slaughtered as per both the company and NCC Guidelines.

To learn more about Pilgrim's Animal Care, visit

"We’re committed to raising the healthiest chickens possible and we work hard every day to ensure their well-being."

– Randy Stroud, Vice President, Live Operations