Harare – Zimbabwe has been hit by a shortage of broiler chicks after the country’s biggest poultry producer was hit by an outbreak of bird flu in recent months, local media reported on Wednesday.
Irvine’s was hit by two avian flu outbreaks in May and July, resulting in it culling more than 200,000 broiler parent stock in a bid to contain the highly pathogenic virus.
South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo were also affected by the bird flu.
In an industry update, the Zimbabwe Poultry Association said the culling of the parent stock at Irvine’s had resulted in a shortage of broiler day old chicks of nearly 500,000 per week.
The gap has to be covered by more expensive imports from outside the southern African region, it said.