A typical grower chicken shed formation.
A typical grower chicken shed formation. Contributed

Chicken farm plan goes to council

PLANS for a meat chicken grower farm with a capacity of nearly three million birds at Elbow Valley east of Warwick have been lodged with the Southern Downs Regional Council.

The New South Wales based Carr Farming Trust has applied for approval to construct 48 grower sheds each housing 60,000 birds on an 880 hectare site which includes the former Leitch Pastoral Group-owned base of Condamine River Meats.

Documents lodged with the council detail the operation, which would involve day-old chicks being transported to the facility to be grown out over a maximum period of eight weeks or 54 days before processing.

Grower – or broiler – chicken farms are normally supplied with chicks and feed by processors such as Inghams and Steggles.

If approved, the 48 sheds on the Elbow Valley site would be constructed on five huge concrete pads, all within roughly a kilometre of each other.

At full capacity after six years of construction the farm would turn off an estimated 2.8 million chickens every year, with the chicken meat industry nationally turning over $3.6 billion worth of product according to Inghams.

A traffic report lodged with the Carr Farming Trust development application forecasts about 72 vehicle trips to and from the site per day along Cullendore Rd, with around 40 per cent of those being heavy vehicles.

Around a quarter of the birds would be harvested at the 34-day mark and another quarter at the 39-day mark to meet a market demand for smaller birds.

The application states that the sheds would be fully sterilised after each batch of birds.

Broiler sheds typically have a mortality rate of about 4.5 per cent and dead chickens would be stored in cool rooms before being removed from the site.

Reports accompanying the application cover issues such as traffic, noise, odour and dust.

Seven residences in the vicinity of the site have been identified as potential “receptors”.

The application has been lodged less than a fortnight after council approved a million-bird chicken hatchery at Allora.

Plans for the proposed Elbow Valley chicken grower farm are currently on display at the council offices in Warwick.

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