National Turkey Federation

Standards of Conduct

Turkeys will be raised in a manner that provides access to clean, fresh water and nutritious feed, and in a manner that provides appropriate freedom of movement. Turkeys will be raised in an environment that protects them from disease and predators.

Turkeys will be provided appropriate veterinary care to prevent and treat diseases. To ensure proper animal and public health, any medications will be administered in a judicious fashion in accordance with the NTF’s Comprehensive Residue Avoidance Program and the American Association of Avian Pathologist’s Judicious Use Guidelines. The turkey industry adopts Standards of Conduct to ensure the industry’s practices align with its Code of Ethics.

Welfare Guidelines Developed with Advice of Veterinarians

  • Feed and water equipment adjustments must be examined daily in the turkey barn to meet the needs of the growing birds.
  • Feed must be palatable, available, formulated and manufactured to meet the needs of the birds being fed. An experienced nutritionist must be involved in the design of the feed program.  Feed mill management must utilize Good Feed Manufacturing Practices and have current FDA registration.
  • Drinking water must be palatable and available at all times in the turkey barn. Any interruptions should be carefully monitored under a veterinarian’s direction.
  • Bird comfort checks must be performed at least daily in the turkey barn to assess the environment and the birds’ comfort. Personnel responsible for a building with live birds must walk through twice a day, or more often as needed, depending on weather, bird condition or age, disease, equipment problems or other circumstances that may result in rapidly changing conditions.
  • Live-haul coops for transportation must be large enough for the birds to lie down and to move around without being pinned by other birds in the coop.
  • During transport, space must be provided so the birds can freely move their heads around and so all can rest on the coop floor simultaneously.
  • Detailed procedures and audit requirements involve additional safeguards for the wellbeing of turkeys.


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