Beak trimming

Why is it measured?

All producers are urged to work towards keeping laying hens without beak trimming - by 2016 (Defra proposed date for a legal ban) at the latest or sooner where possible. Assessing if birds have been beak trimmed or not allows for the collection and analysis of useful data as we work together with the industry towards being able to ban beak trimming without compromising overall hen welfare.

How to assess and score using the AssureWel measure

3. Beak trimming
Sample size: Whole flock
Method of assessment: a) Refer to chick placement records and/or ask the unit manager to determine whether /when the birds were beak trimmed.
b) Visually assess the birds’ beaks during the assessment.
Record: a)  - Flock not beak trimmed
     - Flock beak trimmed before 10 days of age
     - Flock beak trimmed as emergency procedure under veterinary advice
b) Number
of any birds seen which have more than 1/3 beak removed.


  1. Feather loss
  2. Bird dirtiness
  3. Beak trimming
  4. Antagonistic behaviours
  5. Flightiness
  6. Birds needing further care
  7. Mortality

Laying hens ranging


Making improvements

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