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Poultry Care & Welfare

Cobb cares about our chickens. Daily poultry care and welfare are integral to our responsibility as a poultry company. Our team members, staff and farmers are dedicated to humane handling, providing appropriate nutrition, ensuring our chickens have a safe, comfortable environment and optimizing the health and welfare of our flocks.

We utilize a structured, comprehensive plan with outcome-based assessments to monitor, measure and continuously advance poultry health, care and welfare goals.


  • 1 Foundation

    The 5 Domains Model and the 3 Essentials of Good Stockmanship are key principles for Cobb’s global poultry care and welfare programs. These globally recognized frameworks allow us to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to animal welfare, the continuous improvement of our programs and actions, and Cobb’s dedication to training staff about the importance of daily poultry care. The 5 Domains Model provides a meaningful foundation that enhances our focus on positive physical and mental welfare outcomes. As a primary breeder company, we are committed to the health and disease-freedom of our flocks and optimal poultry care as we provide valuable breeding stock to the global poultry industry. Our comprehensive training programs ensure that Team Members and farmers are skilled, knowledgeable, caring and dedicated to achieving biosecurity, poultry health and welfare standards.

  • 2 Support

    Our commitment to poultry care and welfare is fully endorsed by senior leadership at all global locations. Cobb biosecurity, avian health and welfare programs are directed by quality assurance, veterinary and welfare teams in each region. We firmly believe that each Team Member and farmer is responsible and accountable for the daily implementation of Cobb expectations. We inspect what we expect via internal and external assessments to ensure accountability and to verify alignment with our welfare and care expectations. Regular monitoring is used to confirm health status of chickens throughout the life of the flock. Cobb’s participation in government and external quality assurance schemes illustrates our transparency and dedication to excellent poultry health and welfare.

  • 3 Innovation

    We encourage the use of innovative technology to enhance continuous improvement and accuracy of assessment of health and welfare outcomes. By listening, learning from others and uniting with a wide range of experts, we can continue to achieve success. Our investment in advanced tools used for daily poultry management will increase our understanding about poultry behavior and disease prevention in poultry flocks. Our partnerships with researchers, universities and global thought leaders underscore our commitment to continuous improvement. In addition to funding external projects and participating in collaborative entities, we regularly evaluate new equipment, advanced health and environmental monitoring tools and dynamic training options to enhance poultry care and understanding.

Let's talk numbers.


# of samples tested at each Cobb lab
for poultry diseases each year


Cobb flocks
with poultry veterinary oversight


United Kingdom
Government approved compartmentalization status


Government approved compartmentalization status


Government approved compartmentalization status


United States
Government approved compartmentalization status


Cobb global auditors are PAACO certified for welfare auditing


# individual welfare training modules provided annually


# unique internal welfare assessments used to verify poultry care and handling


Global operations that have a 24/7 anonymous reporting mechanism available


# individual criteria evaluated on each internal welfare audit


Cobb breeder complexes receiving a passing score on 3rd party welfare audits


# individual biosecurity training modules provided annually


Cobb family farmers that receive weekly technical support 


Cobb flocks that are monitored for poultry health by a diagnostic laboratory


# Cobb advisors providing technical support to global poultry customers

Path to Progress

Animal welfare is not a new topic for Cobb or for the poultry industry. However, it is one that continues to evolve as scientific knowledge, technology and innovative equipment allow us to better understand what poultry want and need.

welfare care path to progress

With advancements in science and technology, we enhance our assessments of poultry health and welfare outcomes. We use this knowledge to improve our understanding of the synergy of health and welfare with production, performance, sustainability and genetic goals of poultry flocks.

In the last 10 years we’ve expanded our dedicated team of welfare auditors, quality assurance personnel and company veterinarians.

These global team members have a full time focus on health, welfare and quality goals and regularly visit Cobb hatcheries and farms to conduct assessments and to share their knowledge with poultry caretakers.

In the past 5 years, our global distribution locations have been recognized for their excellence in biosecurity and have achieved compartmentalization status from national governments for meeting stringent health and quality standards.

We believe in sharing our expertise and innovative thinking with others to positively enhance welfare and poultry health. This is evident in the representation of Cobb employees in national and global health and welfare seminars, our active participation in discussions about the future of sustainable poultry breeding and contributions as founding members on poultry welfare and sustainability councils as we provide unparalleled leadership and support.

Cobb Cares in Action

Learn how these team members provide leadership and insights to enhance the health, care and welfare of chickens.

Welfare CCIA Justin Looney

Justin Looney (North America)

Role: Senior Production Manager  

Cobb TM since 2008

Action: Provides oversight for production practices, farm management and teams involved in the daily care, handing and management of Cobb breeding flocks; develops and implements internal research projects to enhance breeder welfare and production outcomes; provides leadership for production supervisors who oversee the growth, production and care of chickens on breeding farms.

Welfare Whats Happening Alberto Torres TM since 2006 President ATA and Chair of NPIP GCC

Alberto Torres, DVM (North America)

Role: Export Manager

Cobb TM since 2006

Action: Provides oversight for international transport and export logistics for the movement of breeder chicks and hatching eggs; collaborates with an internal export team and external animal handling companies to ensure efficient and secure shipments to global customers; serves as the President of the Animal Transport Association (2021-2022); serves as the Chairman of the General Conference Committee of the US Department of Agriculture National Poultry Improvement Plan (2019-present).

Welfare CCIA Kongyang Zhu TM since 2014 Senior manager QA and veterinary services for Asia

Kongyang Zhu (Asia-Pacific)

Role: Senior Manager for Quality Assurance and Veterinary Services

Cobb TM since 2014

Action: Provides oversight for the implementation of animal welfare, health and biosecurity programs for company farms and hatcheries in Asia (China and the Philippines); conducts welfare audits at hatcheries and farms; collaborates with the Chinese poultry industry to enhance welfare understanding; leads a team of quality assurance specialists and veterinarians who are integral to the success of the company’s avian health, welfare and quality assurance programs.

Welfare Whats Happening kate barger TM since 2003 Past Chair IPWA Chair AVMA AWC Delegate for Poultry in AVMA HOD

Kate Barger Weathers, DVM (North America)

Role: Director of World Animal Welfare

Cobb TM since 2003

Action: Provides direction for the evolution and implementation of the company’s global welfare program; collaborates with global poultry industry leaders on welfare, sustainability and research advisory councils. Founding chairperson of the International Animal Welfare Alliance (2020-2021) and participates on the Framework Committee for the US Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry and Eggs. Serves as a delegate for poultry veterinarians in AVMA’s House of Delegates (since 2017) and currently leads the AVMA’s Animal Welfare Committee as the elected chair (2021-2022).

Welfare CCIA Matthew Wilson

Matthew Wilson (Europe)

Role: Technical Director 

Cobb TM since 2001

Action: Provides technical guidance to customers for management of broiler flocks in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Leads a European team of Cobb technical experts who provide comprehensive customer guidance in the areas of nutrition, veterinary medicine, welfare, breeder management, broiler management, poultry processing, and hatchery management.

Welfare CCIA Marcio Gereti

Marcio Gereti (South America)

Role: Laboratory and Animal Welfare Manager 

Cobb TM since 2008

Action: Supports the implementation of animal welfare, genetic purity and biosecurity programs in South America (Brazil, Peru and Colombia); conducts welfare audits at hatcheries and farms; collaborates with South American poultry industry members to enhance welfare understanding; leads a team of laboratory specialists who are integral to the success of Cobb avian health and quality assurance programs. 

stacy cornell

Stacy Cornell (North America)

Role: Assistant Production Complex Manager 

Cobb TM since 2007

Action: Provides direct guidance and oversight for the daily care, handling and management of Cobb chickens; provides leadership and mentoring for farm-based team members who are responsible for the daily care of chickens during the grow-out, rearing and laying production stages. 

Welfare CCIA Dominic Smith

Dominic Smith (Europe)

Role: Production Director 

Cobb TM since 2007

Action: Provides direct technical guidance for flock management for breeder flocks in England and the Netherlands; provides leadership for farm-based team members who are responsible for the daily care, handling and transportation of chickens during rearing and laying production stages.

Welfare CCIA melissa phillips

Melissa Phillips (North America)

Role: QA Supervisor / NPIP Coordinator

Cobb TM since 1995

Action: Provides direct biosecurity guidance for Cobb farms and hatcheries in the United States. Conducts biosecurity and quality assurance audits at hatcheries and farms; collaborates with veterinary service and laboratory staff to ensure flock health monitoring practices meet national expectations; coordinates USDA National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) inspections to maintain compartmentalization status; represents the company at state and national NPIP meetings. 

Welfare CCIA Chance Bryant

Chance Bryant (North America)

Role: Director of Technical Service

Cobb TM since 2007

Action: Leads a highly skilled team of Cobb technical experts who provide comprehensive support and guidance for customers in the areas of nutrition, veterinary medicine, welfare, breeder management, broiler management, poultry processing, and hatchery management. Provides technical guidance to customers for management of breeder flocks in Canada, the United States, Central America and the Caribbean.

A Day in the Life

UK, Lyndsey Cassidy - QA Auditor

Watch Video

Animal Welfare Whiteboard Animation

Watch Video

5 Questions with Kate Barger Weathers

Watch Video

What’s hatching?

Learn about our research projects, collaborative efforts and passion to enhance poultry health and welfare.

WH poultry care COLLABORATION IPWA logo


Cobb is proud to be a founding member of the International Poultry Welfare Alliance (IPWA). IPWA is  a diverse, multi-stakeholder group that is focused on fostering communication, sharing best practices,  supporting credible research to advance poultry welfare understanding, and enhancing innovative technology for sustainable poultry production. Various global Cobb TMs currently serve as volunteer leaders on IPWA committees and provide insight on key welfare indicators, education resources, and communication about poultry welfare. Active participation and leadership within IPWA are aligned with Cobb’s strategy to share our expertise and to positively enhance poultry welfare within the global value chain

WH poultry care RESEARCH enrichments


Behavior is a primary research focus for welfare scientists, veterinarians and many production managers who are responsible for daily animal care. At Cobb, as we incorporate the 5 Domains into our animal welfare program, standards and audits, we are actively evaluating how our chickens interact behaviorally within their environment, with other chickens within the flock, and with our farm staff who provide daily care. As part of this commitment to better understand poultry behavior, we are continuing to evaluate what environmental enrichments chickens prefer to use, how chickens utilize these enrichments, and the health, welfare and performance benefits that may result by including enrichments within the flock’s environment. 



Cobb is honored to have representation on the US Poultry Foundation Research Advisory Committee. Dr. Kate Barger Weathers, Director of World Animal Welfare, is an invited member on this important industry advisory committee and represents the broiler breeder sector. The advisory committee meets twice annually and is responsible for evaluating a multitude of research proposals, determining their value to the industry, and making recommendations to the US Poultry boards for research funding. Since the inception of the program, USPOULTRY has invested more than $34 million dollars into the industry in the form of research grants that benefit industry advancement and knowledge in the areas of poultry disease and diagnostics, food safety, welfare, incubation, environmental stewardship, and poultry health.