The physical well-being of animals is very important to the broiler chicken industry, especially since only healthy animals can be utilized for human food. To assist companies in ensuring and verifying a high level of welfare exists among their animals, the National Chicken Council developed the NCC Animal Welfare Guidelines and Audit Checklist, which has been widely adopted within the industry. It covers every phase of the chicken's life and offers science-based recommendations for proper treatment. Among other things, it includes chapters on:
- Education, training and planning
- Best practices on the farm
- Appropriate comfort and shelter
- Proper nutrition and feeding
- Catching and transportation
- Health care
It is backed up by a detailed audit checklist that can be completed by the company itself, by a customer representative, or a third-party auditor. The NCC program was accepted in 2005 by the Food Marketing Institute and National Council of Chain Restaurants. Program details can be found here.