About Queensland's meat chicken industry

Queensland produces about 18% of Australia's chicken meat, contributing more than $610 million to the state's economy.

In 2020–21 about 132 million chickens were processed in Queensland, producing 245,744 tonnes of chicken meat. Almost all chicken meat produced in Australia is consumed locally. Australians on average eat around 47.8kg of chicken meat per person per year. Chicken is the highest consumed meat protein, ahead of pork, beef and lamb.

Increasing consumption of poultry meat, combined with improvements in the genetics of poultry birds and processing efficiencies, have contributed to the strong growth of Queensland's poultry industry.

Breeding and genetics

There are 2 main hybrid breeds used in Australia for chicken meat – Cobb and Ross. These breeds have been selectively bred for their growth, feed conversion (i.e. ability to convert feed into meat) as well as several other traits that are beneficial for bird health and welfare.

The genetics come from overseas and are imported as fertile eggs. They are incubated and hatched under strict quarantine procedures. These chickens become the great grandparents of the chickens that are raised for human consumption. Find out more about the chicken family tree.

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