The Australian Chicken Meat Federation (ACMF) held a “Hatchery to Home” tour at Hazeldene’s RSPCA-approved operations in Bendigo, Victoria, in May. The tour formed part of the federation’s ongoing education drive around practices to dispel myths about the chicken meat industry. 

Dr. Andreas Dubs, ACMF director explains: “Our tours are designed to give attendees such as journalists, nutritionists, bloggers and teachers a firsthand experience of the processes involved in getting chicken from the hatchery to the plate and to speak with a range of experts from the industry. There are a lot of misconceptions out there that we address on the day.” 

The day-long tour began at the hatchery to see fertile eggs being incubated, their transfer at 18 days of incubation to the hatchers, the chicks being removed from the hatchers after hatching, and dispatch of the day-old chicks to the farm. The tour then traveled a short distance to visit a chicken shed at the farm to see how the chickens are raised. Following a “chicken-themed” lunch, the tour continued on to processing facilities, with senior managers and the CEO available for questions. 

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“The industry continues to proactively tell its story and set the facts straight, and the opportunity to host these tours and be transparent about what happens at every stage of the process is invaluable,” said Dubs.