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 $2.87 billion (gross value of production 2018-19), compared to 2.75 billion in 2015-16. The industry has an approximate 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. Inghams Enterprises (public company) & Baiada Poultry (private) supply 70% of meat chickens. 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, it accounts for 0.46% of employment across Australia directly employing about 58,000 people (full time equivalent) It accounts for 0.45% of Australian GDP. 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.

Industry Advisory Panel 

AgriFutures Australia is committed to working with industry to deliver research and development outcomes. We work in partnership with advisory panels to decide on research priorities and to make investment decisions each year.

 

Funding

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.

 

Open Call

AgriFutures Australia’s investments are driven by research development and extension (RD&E) plans that address the needs of industries and stakeholders, and ensure our priorities are industry and government-driven.

Round One has now closed. More details regarding Round Two of the Open Call will be available in due course.

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.

For more information, download our Chicken Meat Program Five-Year RD&E Plan 2014-2019.

AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat symbols

A suite of symbols have been introduced to the AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program to categorise resources and help users identify research themes across the program. Keep an eye out for the symbols on final reports, project summaries and other resources of interest. The themes include:

AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat symbols


Contact

Georgie Townsend
Manager, Research
0438 495 325
georgina.townsend@agrifutures.com.au

About your levy

Australian primary industries that choose to invest in the levies system prescribe the amount of levy or charge applied to a commodity under the Primary Industries (Customs) Charges Act 1999Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Act 1999, National Residue Survey (Customs) Levy Act 1998 and the National Residue Survey (Excise) Levy Act 1998.

Levy and charge revenue can be directed to biosecurity preparedness and emergency plant pest and animal disease responses, residue testing, marketing and research and development. It is the decision of a primary industry to determine the proportion of how a levy or charge is directed to each of these activities. 

AgriFutures Australia receives the Research & Development levy allocation to invest in line with the industry objectives of the Five Year Research & Development Plan. Up to half of program expenditure, including R&D expenditure, is matched by the Australian Government at up to 0.5% of industry GVP. The graphs below represent the levy breakdown and the annual Program investment inclusive of levy, government and any third party contributions.

The Levy is collected and distributed via the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. For more information, visit the DAWR website.

*Financials are accurate as at 1 February 2019 and subject to change.

Related Publications

20.03.19

Review of Fresh Litter Supply, Management and Spent Litter Utilisation

20.03.19

Industry Summary: Survey and review of grain sorghum in chicken meat production

20.03.19

Review of AME bioassay for ingredient matrix values of poultry

14.03.19

Project Summary: Electrolyte supplementation to alleviate the adverse effects of severe heat stress

Related resources

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Feed Mill Biosecurity guidelines

The Feed Mill Biosecurity guidelines have been developed based on information provided by industry and in conjunction with the Stock Feed Manufacturers’ Council of Australia and the Feed Safe® Feed Mill Hygiene Guidelines.

This project (PRJ 010446) was funded through the Agrifutures™ Chicken Meat Program.

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Drivers for Innovation in the Poultry Industry

Jessica Pitkin's study found that despite vast amounts of new technology and modern practices available to the poultry industry to improve productivity, shedding efficiency and animal welfare outcomes, the adoption rate of these technologies across Australia and worldwide is generally low.

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Beak to Beak Audio Recordings

Beak to Beak audio recordings bring you the latest research insights that you can listen to on the move. The recordings give you an overview of research projects including implications and findings and keep you up to date with the latest program developments.

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Biosecurity on farms during research

Become biosecurity aware when undertaking research – remember you are at the forefront of good biosecurity practice.

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PoultryHub

An initiative of the Poultry CRC in Australia, PoultryHub was developed to share information about commercial poultry production. Students and educators from Australia and around the world are using PoultryHub to learn about poultry and poultry production, stimulating interest in poultry science and hopefully dispelling myths and misconceptions surrounding poultry production.

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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".

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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”.

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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”.

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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.

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Latest News and Events

30.08.19

AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program researcher spotlight: Dr Cheryl McCarthy

University of Southern Queensland (USQ) mechatronic engineer Dr Cheryl McCarthy is researching a new way to detect chicken welfare using machine vision, a camera technology with artificial intelligence akin to face recognition. The research is the first of its kind in Australia, and has been the subject of a two year project, to date, funded by AgriFutures™ Chicken Meat Program.

20.08.19

Chicken CCTV: Tech solution for poultry problems

University of Southern Queensland (USQ) mechatronic engineer Dr Cheryl McCarthy is researching a new way to detect chicken welfare using machine vision, a camera technology with artificial intelligence akin to face recognition.