Chook Chat Blog

Chook Chat Blog 2018-05-08T12:59:33+00:00

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What Kids Think About Aussie Meat Chickens

August 28th, 2018|

In last month’s blog, I shared with you some insights on what Australian consumers feel about Aussie chicken. In this month’s blog I’d like to share with you what we found out when, for the first time, we asked Australian kids what they know about chickens, in order to help us address some of the […]

Chicken’s place on the dinner plate and in the mind of the consumer

August 2nd, 2018|

It’s safe to say that Australian consumers love their chicken meat – as reported in my last blog (chicken meat eating up its competition) ABARES has forecast that Australians will have consumed a whopping 49 kg of chicken meat per person in 2017-18, making the average Aussie consumer one of the highest consumers of chicken […]

Chicken meat eating up its competition

March 25th, 2018|

Remember when chicken was a special treat, to be shared by the whole family on the occasional Sunday or only for a special celebration? No? Then you are obviously a fair bit younger than me (most people are). So let me take you back half a century… Prior to the mid-1960s, chicken meat primarily came […]

Eating chicken helps you to feel full – here’s why

February 19th, 2018|

A previous blog (http://www.chicken.org.au/chookchat/can-chicken-help-long-term-weight-loss/) discussed some of the ways in which lean chicken can contribute to achieving your healthy weight goals, and the reasons for this. High amongst these was that: Chicken meat has the equivalent protein content of beef, lamb and pork. One 100g serve of chicken breast provides more than 50% of the […]

Biosecurity: ‘5 Minutes with…A Farm Manager’ by Guest Blogger: Phil Pirone

November 21st, 2017|

It’s National Agriculture Day! So we thought we’d dedicate this month’s blog to “5 minutes with a farmer”, reported by guest blogger Phil Pirone. What does biosecurity mean for the chicken industry, and what practices are adopted? We talk to Farm Manager, Paul Frank, about biosecurity and the farm he manages north of Adelaide to […]

The Dos and Don’ts of Chicken Food Safety!

September 19th, 2017|

Chicken tartare, carpaccio or sashimi, anyone? No! I think pretty much everyone understands that you shouldn’t eat raw chicken and why (read more here about why… http://www.chicken.org.au/chookchat/remember-chicken-food-safety/) but given recent servings of chicken sashimi overseas we thought it a timely reminder to look at the dos and don’ts that relate to raw chicken meat and food safety. […]

What’s going on here?

August 17th, 2017|

What are the chickens in this photo doing? And why are they all bunched up together, I hear you ask? Well, chickens are by nature social animals; they live in flocks. In the wild, or in a backyard situation, this flocking behaviour provides individual birds with protection from predators and also allows them to keep […]

Why didn’t the chicken cross the road?

July 3rd, 2017|

…or the oceans, in the case of chicken meat available to Australian consumers. Consumers often associate the beef and lamb that they buy as having been grown in Australia, but are not so confident about the origin of their chicken meat. Well, good news! Almost all chicken meat available for you to buy in Australia […]

Nerdy chickens? Supporting chicken welfare with science

May 17th, 2017|

by guest blogger, Dr Kylie Hewson* The viability of the Australian chicken meat industry depends on the implementation of good welfare practices every day, for every flock, and this has been recognised since the start of the commercial industry back in the 1950s. Not only do farmers have an obligation to protect and respect the […]

Shower On, Shower Off

March 22nd, 2017|

“What’s this got to do with chickens?” I hear you say. Well, in some parts of the chicken production business, quite a lot! Why? Because it’s one of the many biosecurity measures that may be implemented by industry to protect flocks from infectious disease. What’s biosecurity? From a chicken industry perspective, biosecurity refers to a set of preventative […]

Lean chicken’s contribution to the ‘bottom line’

February 12th, 2017|

How many times have you heard it reported that Australia is in the grip of an obesity epidemic? Well, to help to address this, this week (13 – 19 February) the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) is organising online initiatives and a series of activities around Australia in support of Australia’s Healthy Weight Week (AHWW). […]

Four Key Facts About Australian Meat Chickens

December 12th, 2016|

With Christmas and a new year just around the corner, it seems a good time to remind readers of some of the key facts about Australian meat chickens, including what they look like and how they are reared. Since this is about the chickens themselves, I’m going to focus on four key facts […]

Food Safety Myths Busted!

November 7th, 2016|

by Guest Blogger, Kylie Hewson There are many myths surrounding chicken meat, and keeping with the theme “Raw is Risky” for Australian Food Safety Week (6 – 12th November), which is coordinated by the Australian Food Safety Information Council (AFSIC Food Safety Week), we’ve decided to focus this month’s Chook Chat blog on those myths […]

Nutritional credentials of chicken stack up

September 29th, 2016|

With National Nutrition Week (including World Food Day – 16 October) just around the corner (National Nutrition Week 16-22 October), it’s a perfect opportunity to remind readers of the nutritional attributes of chicken. So, what’s so great about chicken? And what role does it have as part of a healthy balanced diet? The most important […]

Are meat chickens male or female?

August 25th, 2016|

The simple answer to this commonly asked question is: “both”. Both male and female chickens are used to produce chicken meat. That’s the case right around the world. Unlike the case for the egg industry, where only hens are required to lay the eggs that are sold for human consumption, both male and female meat […]

The Chicken Family Tree

July 26th, 2016|

In 2016, Australian chicken farms will produce over 590 million meat chickens. But where do they come from? It may be obvious, but it’s something most people don’t think about – every meat chicken has a set of parents, and those parents have their own parents, and so on up the line. But where are […]

What’s this?

June 21st, 2016|

OK – what do you think this is? And what’s it got to do with chickens? Well, it’s a great but simple piece of technology that is used right across the chicken industry and which has helped to significantly improve the environment and welfare of millions of meat chickens grown in Australia every year….in fact […]

Myth Busting #1: Is it safe to refreeze chicken?

May 10th, 2016|

Do you ever take some chicken out of the freezer to defrost before leaving for work in the morning, only to get home and not feel like cooking? I know I do! A question we get asked often is whether it is safe to put the defrosted chicken back into the freezer, and the answer […]

Poultry at the Sydney Royal Show

April 12th, 2016|

The Steggles Commercial Meat Chicken Pairs Competition at the Royal Agricultural Society’s Sydney Royal Easter Show just keeps going from strength to strength! Each year, schools from around NSW get the chance to test their understanding of how meat chickens are grown, and just how much needs to be done and how well they need […]

It’s Official: Chicken Remains Australia’s Favourite Meat

March 16th, 2016|

Earlier this month, ABARES (the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences) released its annual update on current and forecast future production and consumption of Australian agricultural products, including meats. Its statistics show that Australians are forecast to consume a whopping 46.2 kg of chicken meat, per person, over 2015-16, not only cementing […]

Can chicken help long term weight loss?

February 15th, 2016|

Put on a few extra kgs over the festive season? Well, you’re not alone there! This week (15 -21 February) is Australia’s Healthy Weight Week (healthyweightweek.com.au) – an initiative of the Dietitians Association of Australia, aimed at raising awareness of the importance of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. It’s a great concept and I’d […]

Food Safety at Christmas

December 9th, 2015|

By Guest Blogger, Dr Kylie Hewson Don’t forget the roast chicken for Christmas lunch – but also don’t forget food safety! But what does ‘food safety’ actually mean? And how can we talk about it without getting bored and losing interest? It can be difficult to find a food safety message that will be effective […]

Meat chicken behaviour – how do farmers use it?

November 17th, 2015|

Last month, I talked a little bit about meat chicken behaviour – not just what chickens do, but why it’s important. I foreshadowed that in my next blog I’d explain how chicken farmers use chicken behaviour to read and respond to their birds’ needs. So, what behaviours does a chicken farmer use, and how does […]

Meat Chicken behaviour – what they do and why it’s important

October 20th, 2015|

In last month’s blog, I talked about traditional selective breeding, what it means, how it is done, and what its impacts have been in terms of the productivity of modern meat chickens and flow-on benefits for consumers. I hinted that in this month’s blog I would discuss whether and how selective breeding might have changed […]

Selective breeding – why is it important and what does it mean?

September 8th, 2015|

Selective breeding – why is it important and what does it mean? In an earlier blog, I described how modern meat chickens have been selectively bred to grow well and put on a lot of muscle (meat), in the context of explaining that these characteristics have been achieved without the use of hormones (hormones not having ever […]

Australian Chicken – truly home grown!

August 11th, 2015|

Why new Country of Origin labelling? Remember the frozen berry recall in February this year? If so, you may also recall that this incident led to widespread calls for better information to be provided on the label of food products sold in Australia so that consumers could understand where the food had been produced and/or […]

Halal Chicken – what does it really mean?

July 7th, 2015|

One issue that continues to be raised regularly by consumers surrounds the production and supply of Halal chicken. Questions raised with the ACMF include where can I buy Halal chicken? where can I buy non-Halal chicken? why do chicken producers supply it? why don’t they produce or supply it? and, what does the production of […]

Avian Influenza – what’s the latest?

June 10th, 2015|

Have you noticed that Avian Influenza (AI) has been in the news a lot lately? This is largely due to the unprecedented spread of outbreaks, primarily in poultry flocks, around the globe over the past six months. Fortunately, Australian poultry flocks have to date escaped this wave of AI, but sadly AI is currently having […]

Why the expression “Factory Farming” is not particularly helpful

May 19th, 2015|

People in the chicken meat industry often face questions and criticism from those concerned about modern farming and animal welfare. It is sometimes difficult to communicate our thoughts and values effectively simply because of the emotional aspects of the concern. These discussions centre on value judgments and ethical considerations […]

Schools battle it out over chickens

May 5th, 2015|

Schools battle it out at Sydney Royal Show Commercial Meat Chicken Pairs competition Just before Easter this year, I was delighted to be able to serve as a steward in the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW’s annual commercial meat chicken pairs competition at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. Sponsored by Steggles, this competition pits schools […]

Chicken feed – what’s in it?

April 7th, 2015|

We’re commonly asked what meat chickens are fed in Australia. Well, chickens are fed diets that are formulated from a broad range of potential feed ingredients (predominantly grains) that are mixed together to meet the precise nutrient profile required by the bird at its different stages of growth. As a result, chicken diets are primarily […]

How safe is your chicken?

March 3rd, 2015|

Origin of Chicken Meat Available in Australia and Measures to Ensure its Quality In the wake of a recent major food safety incident attributed to imported frozen berries, the ACMF has been receiving an increased number of calls from concerned consumers asking where their chicken has come from, and what the Australian industry does about […]