SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Ducks and Geese

Farmed Animals

SPCA supports housing systems that provide ducks and geese with choices to meet their physical, health, and behavioural needs.

SPCA advocates all ducks and geese should be reared in free range systems, allowing easy access to an outdoor area with appropriate, well-maintained ground and vegetative cover, and suitable artificial and/or natural shelters that protects them from the elements and overhead predators. Ducks and geese should be provided continual access to a suitable bathing water source that is hygienically well-maintained. Social needs must be meet for both ducks and geese in terms of keeping ducks with other ducks and geese with other geese.

Within housing, environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, ammonia and dust levels must be controlled, and good litter quality and proper ventilation must be maintained to ensure the comfort of the ducks and geese at all times. Ducks and geese must always have sufficient space to move freely, turn around completely and perform natural behaviours such as preening, wing flapping, and stretching. All farmed ducks and geese should be allowed to perform species-specific behaviours, such as bathing, wet preening, and the various body and feather movements that are part of the natural behavioural repertoire.

SPCA advocates for an end to the bill and claw trimming of farmed ducks.

SPCA acknowledges that an end to the bill and claw trimming of farmed ducks must be brought about alongside efforts to improve flock management to ensure that the welfare of the birds is not compromised. SPCA advocates that the government and the poultry industry could do more to end the problems that can occur from injurious pecking and claw-induced injuries without resorting to bill and claw trimming. This can be achieved by making conscious efforts to maintain the birds’ physical, health, and behavioural needs by taking positive action such as improving stocking densities, diet, rearing methods, light intensity, careful transportation and provision of suitable enrichment.

SPCA opposes the practice of using a feeding tube to feed ducks and geese to produce pâté de foie gras.

SPCA opposes the plucking of feathers from live geese for their down.

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