Australia’s chicken meat industry is one of the most efficient in the world.

Through targeted high-impact RD&E projects, the AgriFutures Australia Chicken Meat Program will achieve significant benefits to industry designed to maintain its position as the number one consumed meat in the country.

Key components of the program

Key components of the Chicken Meat Program are increasing productivity and efficiency of production, and delivering safe food and good animal welfare outcomes.

AgriFutures Australia has invested in two new positions – an Extension Officer and a Research Development Officer – to improve the reciprocal flow of information between RD&E and industry.

About the industry

The Australian chicken meat industry is worth $2.7 billion (gross value of production 2015-16), with a retail value of around $6.6 billion.

Growth in production and demand for free range chicken meat has been particularly strong over the past five years (approximately 15% of the total market) and this trend is expected to continue.

Chicken meat production in Australia is dominated by a small number of large, vertically integrated, privately owned businesses. These companies typically contract out the growing of their chickens to independent chicken growers. Approximately 800 contract growers rear about 80% of Australia’s meat chickens.

The industry has a strong presence in rural and regional communities, directly employing about 40,000 people with a further 100,000 jobs dependent on chicken meat production. The chicken meat industry purchases around five per cent of all grain grown in Australia.

The industry has many opportunities to capitalise on chicken meat’s modest environmental footprint and to further reduce its environmental impacts and emissions.

Continuous improvement, including RD&E to optimise flock performance, efficiency and industry productivity, will be required to enable chicken meat to retain its favourable position as the most affordable and popular meat on the domestic market.


The program is funded by statutory levies paid by industry participants. This levy revenue is matched by AgriFutures Australia at up to 0.5% of GVP.

AgriFutures Australia is an essential participant in the Poultry Hub. The Chicken Meat Program also collaborates with other rural research and development corporations.

Research investments are guided by the Chicken Meat R&D Advisory Panel.

RD&E plan

The industry’s current RD&E objectives are clear:

  • Increase the productivity and efficiency of chicken meat production
  • Deliver safe food and good animal welfare outcomes
  • Manage the environment for sustainable development
  • Create foundations for the future, including capacity and market insight
  • Ensure research adoption via extension and communication.


Michael Beer
Program Manager, Research & Innovation
02 6923 6915
0429 566 730

Australian Chicken Meat Federation

Related Publications


Deterrence of wild waterfowl from poultry production areas: a critical review of current techniques and literature


Energy Strategy: Techno-Economic Cost-Benefit Analysis of Waste to Energy and Energy Efficiency


Chicken meat industry internet connectivity survey


Manure amendments can significantly reduce stable fly numbers

Related resources

Search regions suitable for chicken meat

Search now

PIX 2018

PIX is the largest poultry conference held in Australia. Held every second year, PIX 2018 will be held on the Gold Coast, QLD 3 - 5 June 2018. Keep an eye out for updates and how you can get involved.

Read More

Solar PV assessment tool for chicken farmers

A simple self-assessment tool to assist Australian meat chicken growers make a preliminary assessment of the feasibility of solar PV for their farms; a companion tool to the publication “Solar guidelines for Australian meat chicken growers".


Tunnel Ventilation Fan Comparison Spreadsheet

This spreadsheet allows growers to input information specific to their farm circumstances and helps them to identify the most efficient and cheapest fan for their situation. This is a companion tool to the publication “Review of fan efficiency in meat chicken sheds”.


Ventilation Fan Cost Calculation Spreadsheet

A tool to assist growers to calculate the potential energy and cost savings of replacing fans in their own situation. This tools supports the publication “How to reduce costs and energy by replacing inefficient ventilation fans on meat chicken sheds”.


Spreadsheet: Minimum Ventilation for Poultry House Moisture Management

Before opening the “min vent and poultry house tightness calculator - metric (v1.0 beta)” file you must first open the “Poultrypschfunctions” file.


Latest News and Events


New chicken meat scholarship to honour industry champion

A new postgraduate scholarship has been launched in honour of former AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Advisory Panel Chair and Australian Chicken Meat Federation President, Gary Sansom, to uncover future chicken meat industry leaders and provide funding and support to make their mark on the industry.


AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat research goes global

AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat researcher Dr Sonia Liu has received a prestigious Endeavour Research Fellowship for her work focused on low protein diets in chickens.


Holistic approach to research key to Aussie chicken meat efficiency

The Australian chicken meat industry is recognised as one of the most efficient in the world and to keep the industry on its perch a holistic approach to innovative research is a key. To understand the industry priorities, we spoke with AgriFutures Australia Chicken Meat Advisory Panel Chair, Gary Millar.


Robots revolutionising antimicrobial resistance testing

Robots are revolutionising testing for antimicrobial resistance in an Australian-first project, partnered by AgriFutures Australia. AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program has collaborated with Australian Pork Limited, Murdoch University and a number of biotechnology companies on this innovative project. The project aims to develop an inexpensive and accurate system for objectively defining antimicrobial resistance risks at the farm level.


Reinvigorated Chicken Meat Advisory Panel focused on industry future

Food safety, poultry welfare and industry communications were headline discussions for the revised Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) Chicken Meat Advisory Panel when they met on 21 August 2017.