MACKAY consumers eat about 247 eggs and 47kg of chicken each a year.
But now the nation’s chicken and egg industries plan to become carbon-neutral, with the Australian Eggs and AgriFutures Australia announcing their new research project.
Lead researcher and agricultural scientist Dr Stephen Wiedemann said the Carbon Neutral Project would first capture the carbon footprint and map a path to carbon neutrality of the entire supply chain from feed production down to supplying the final product.
“Once you have that all-important baseline for the entire industry, you can test the impacts of steps individual farms are taking to lower their footprints and then identify ways to mitigate emissions that remain, Dr Wiedemann said.
Examples of steps include installing solar, optimising diets to reduce feed use and even using manure as renewable energy, he said.
But there is an additional carbon footprint challenge posed to the egg industry as consumer preferences shift from caged to free-range and barn-laid eggs.
Free-range chooks actually eat more feed to produce the same number of eggs, Dr Wiedemann said.