Level 3, Primary Producers House,
183 North Quay Brisbane Q 4003

Tel: 07 3837 4720 Email: info@acgc.org.au


Are there hormones in my chicken?

Animals produce hormones naturally to regulate their body’s biochemistry. If hormones – either synthetic or natural – are introduced into an animal, they can modify the animal’s metabolism. This can have a range of effects, including changing its growth rate.
No hormones are fed or otherwise administered to any poultry in Australia. Hormones have not been used in the Australian poultry industry for more than 40 years. Hormones were originally used as an alternative to castration and to improve the tenderness of the meat, but improved breeds of chicken have made this practice unnecessary. No hormones are administered to meat chickens under any circumstance and therefore there is no basis for any food safety concern regarding hormones.

Are meat chickens kept in cages?

No. Meat chickens are farmed in Australia in large open poultry houses that are often called ‘sheds’, ‘houses’ or ‘units’. Shed sizes vary, but a typical new shed would be 150 metres long and 15 metres wide and hold about 40,000 chickens. Most commercial meat chicken farms are intensive, highly mechanised units that occupy relatively small areas compared with conventional farming. Meat chickens are run on dry friable litter floors comprising of many different materials from wood shavings to rice hulls, they are not kept in cages.