RSPCA welfare standards
for domestic/common ducks
17 February 2015
* indicates an amendment
E 4.4 Birds must be exposed to natural daylight as soon as possible, and no later than 7 days of age.
Experience has shown that exposing birds to events occurring outside the house at an early
stage allows them time to develop recognition and familiarity and therefore reduce their
fearfulness towards them.
Some producers expose ducklings to daylight from day old, whilst others have waited until
the ducklings are five to seven days of age.
E 4.5 Natural daylight must be provided:
a) at all times during the natural daylight period
b) through all the required openings (see E 4.8).
E 4.6 The entry of natural light into the house must not be obstructed.
For example, standard E 4.6 applies to the positioning of items within the building. It does not
apply to methods used for controlling the amount of light entering through the light opening,
as stated in standard E 4.10, which are being used in accordance with the standards.
E 4.7 Natural daylight must penetrate all areas of the house.
E 4.8 The light openings in the house must correspond to at least 3% of the total floor area of the house.
It is important to install a sufficient number and size of light inlets to ensure the lighting
requirements can be achieved at all times.
Installing light openings down both sides of a house can allow greater control over the light
entering the building. For example, if the shutters on one side of the house have to be closed
then daylight can still enter the building through the inlets on the opposite side. Similarly,
more than the suggested amount of total window space for a building should be provided.
The greater the proportion of window area to floor area achieved, the more natural daylight
will enter the shed and consequently the less likely artificial lights will have to be turned on
to achieve the minimum lighting level of 20 lux on darker days. This measure could also help
E 4.9 Light openings must be of a sufficient size to ensure that streams of light entering the house causing
patches of bright light are avoided.
As a guide, each light opening should be no smaller than 0.56m
Where there are patches of bright light, e.g. when windows are not evenly distributed around
the house or when windows are not of a similar size, bird activity may be greater in the more
illuminated areas, which could adversely affect litter quality.