To Grimaud Frères, respect for animal welfare is a priority. The production and performance of duck breeders depend to a large extent on the match between breeding practices and the physiological and environmental needs of the ducks.
Beyond its expertise, Grimaud Frères applies official rules defined by France, Europe and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), which aim to provide a framework for animal welfare. By regulating health codes for terrestrial and aquatic animals, the OIE establishes guidelines for transport, slaughter and rearing conditions.
5 fundamental principles:
The OIE characterizes five fundamental principles that must be respected in the context of animal welfare:
- Animals must not suffer from hunger or thirst.
- They must not suffer discomfort
- They must not suffer pain, injury or disease.
- Animals must be able to express the natural behaviors of their species
- They must not experience fear or distress.
Grimaud Frères’ general principle is to keep human intervention on the animals to a minimum. With this in mind, the buildings are designed to encourage the animals to express their natural behaviors. This approach is supported by regular training of employees and awareness-raising among breeders about animal handling.
Here are a few concrete examples of actions or principles that Grimaud Frères applies on its farms or with its partners for each of the rules defined by the OIE:
Do not suffer from hunger or thirst
- The feeding chains used on our farms are specific and adapted to the morphology of the ducks’ beaks. We also require the use of drinking systems that allow ducks to dip their beaks, immerse their nostrils, moisten their plumage with water and groom themselves.
- Feeding and watering equipment can be adapted according to species and production stage.
- Water quality (the 1st foodstuff consumed by ducks, and representing the largest proportion of their diet) must be irreproachable in bacteriological (we apply human recommendations) and physico-chemical terms.
- Feed is adapted to the physiological needs of the animals, according to their age and species. Particle size and nutritional values also vary.
- Feed is supplied by approved feed manufacturers who apply quality control plans to the raw materials and finished products delivered.
- Integral bedding is used on all our farms to enable our animals to reproduce natural behaviors such as gleaning grain from straw or stretching their legs without discomfort (which is not the case on slatted floors).
- Heating is adapted to the species and age of the ducks. We prefer outdoor heating systems to minimize the release of combustion gases into the buildings.
- Air renewal must ensure good bacteriological and chemical air quality, and optimum hygrometry for animal comfort. Here too, our ventilation systems can be adapted to the needs of the ducks, depending on their age and species.
- We also pay particular attention to the thermal comfort of our ducks during hot spells. Our buildings are therefore equipped with high-pressure foggers and air blowers.
No pain, injury or disease
- Grimaud Frères is certified to SNA level 3 by implementing practices that prevent animals from suffering. For example, decision trees for killing weakened or injured animals are applied to minimize suffering. Sick bays are available in all buildings to ensure that convalescent animals recover properly.
- Grimaud Frères also implements preventive prophylaxis plans to reduce the need for antibiotic treatment by preventing disease through vaccination.
Expressing natural behaviors specific to the species
- As mentioned above, Grimaud Frères uses integral bedding with comfortable materials such as straw or shavings. These are combined with animal-friendly watering and feeding equipment, enabling our ducks to better express their natural behaviors.
- Equipment used to improve animal comfort, ventilation systems and feed distribution also help to ensure good animal health.
No fear or distress
- Our animals are raised in confinement. This allows us to control the sanitary aspect, but it also limits the animals’ stress. In fact, contrary to popular belief, confined rearing avoids predatory birds flying overhead, as well as disturbing noises and movements.
- This type of rearing also limits climatic stress (wind, high or low temperatures, etc.).
- Last but not least, the regular presence of breeders or animal-friendly staff accustoms them to the presence of humans, who do not represent a danger to them.
Grimaud Frères is committed to animal welfare on a daily basis. Code EFABAR approval guarantees animal welfare from selection to delivery to the farm. The use of tools such as the EBENE application enables us to measure animal welfare on the farm.
Grimaud Frères’ commitment to animal welfare enables ducks to reach their full production potential.