Care & Handling


Wayne Farms Animal Care & Handling


Our animal welfare commitment starts with the recognition that chickens are sentient beings that depend on us for every aspect of their care. While chicks need food and water to survive, their well-being and ability to thrive also depends on quality nutrition, reliable shelter, companionship, avoidance of pain, and the ability to freely move about and explore — which further supports natural instincts and behaviors.

Most importantly, we recognize that animal welfare is everyone’s job, as we actively manage our program on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. We count on everyone, at every level, to serve as eyes, ears and advocates for our chickens.


Watch the video to learn more about Wayne Farms and the importance of animal welfare



For the past two years, we've convened an Animal Care Advisory Committee made up of key internal stakeholders and external animal welfare experts. The goal of this group is to identify and implement best practices related to how our birds are raised and treated. Backed by the recommendations of the committee, we've released a newly updated Animal Welfare Program with additional training and metrics and are also transitioning to everyday feeding at all of our pullet houses, as well as single-stage setters in our hatcheries in the same timeframe.


As the chicken provider of choice, customers can rely on us to meet their ever-evolving needs. Currently, we respect that our customers may be challenged by the decision of whether or not to opt into the Class of 2024 and sign onto the Better Chicken Commitment. Should they decide to, we’re here to help, every step of the way!

What is the Class of 2024?

The Class of 2024 is made of up restaurants, retailers and producers that have opted into Better Chicken Commitment animal welfare practices.

What is the Better Chicken Commitment?

The Better Chicken Commitment is an animal activist program that strongly encourages chicken producers, retailers, and foodservice providers, and their brands, to focus on the following factors when raising chickens for meat:

  • More room to roam (less density) inside chicken houses
  • Added light intensity, and more specifically, access to natural light
  • More continuous hours of darkness for rest
  • Environmental enrichments to further support natural behavior
  • A multi-step, controlled atmosphere stunning system
  • Slower-growing chicken breeds (by 2026)
  • Verification of animal welfare practices conducted by recognized certification program providers and annual reporting

Wayne Farms NAKED TRUTH® Premium Chicken

While Wayne Farms’ conventional animal welfare program lays a strong foundation for responsible animal care across all facilities, our Global Animal Partnership (GAP) Step 2 rated program, sold under the NAKED TRUTH® Premium Chicken brand, further supports care practices outlined in the Better Chicken Commitment.


We are proud to offer our customers a variety of programs when it comes to responsibly raised, premium quality chicken products. Whether under our conventional, No Antibiotics Ever, or GAP Step 2 rated programs, we are proud of what we do and our ability to meet and exceed customer expectations.

Together, we make chicken amazing.

starburst iconEmployee Spotlight

Wayne Farms - Mark Burleson, Director of Veterinary Services, DVM, MS, DACPV

Wayne Farms has more than 60 million birds on the ground at any time — and it's Dr. Burleson's job to make sure they're all healthy. He works directly with flock supervisors and area managers — setting up vaccination programs, training others and taking a proactive approach to bird health.

Mark Burleson, DVM, MS, DACPV
Director of Veterinary Services