Farmed Ducks and Geese
SPCA supports housing systems that provide ducks and geese with a Good Life where they experience positive welfare and their physical, health and behavioural needs are met. For ducks and geese, this includes access to water to satisfy their water-related 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 protect them from the elements and overhead predators. Ducks and geese should be provided with continual access to a suitable bathing water source that is hygienically well maintained. Ducks and geese are semi-aquatic animals, and therefore have different behavioural needs compared to other farmed poultry species. Providing an open water source that they can immerse their full body in and perform natural water-related behaviours is important for their health and welfare.
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 opposes bill and claw trimming of farmed ducks.
SPCA advocates that 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. Improvements may include reducing stocking densities, improving diet and pullet rearing methods, changing breed selection, adjusting light intensity and adding range 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 ducks and geese for their down.
(See ‘Animal Welfare Labelling’ for more information)
(See ‘Animal Welfare in Trade’ for more information)