The Divisional Units that make up Lunar Chickens include the following:
Lunar Chickens is set on becoming the largest producer of Table Eggs in Zimbabwe. The mass production of eggs is essential if the consumer demand is to be met.
The egg industry is a highly developed and technical industry. To achieve success, the producer must be something of a scientist, a nutritionist, an engineer and a businessman.
Lunar Chickens operates a breeding programme, from which all the chickens reared within the Group originate. The activities encompassing the breeding of chickens within the Lunar Group are managed under a divisional unit called Breederland. Here, two main arms of operation can be seen, namely, Breederland Broilers as well as Breederland Layers. Breederland Broilers has two main sites, the first located at Sun Estates in Harare and the other site based in Beatrice. Breederland Layers is located at Lunar Chicken’s White Chapel Farm, in Ruwa. These sites are sparsely located as part of a risk mitigation exercise aimed at reducing the rise and spread of avian infections and diseases. Lunar Chickens breeds the Hubbard F15 for broiler production in accordance with international standards as set by Hubbard’s Head Office in France. Lunar Chickens holds the Hubbard F15 franchise not only for Zimbabwe but also for the entire Sub-Saharan region. For layers, Lunar Chickens uses the Novagen breed, which has also been performing above expectations.Once hatched, eggs are then taken to the Grading rooms where they are carefully selected and sorted before being dispatched to the hatcheries.
Lunar Chickens has two hatcheries, one located within the Breeder Land Layers complex in Ruwa, at White Chapel Farm while the other Hatchery is at Sun Estates in Borrowdale which is also known as the Lunar Two Hatchery.
The Lunar 1 Hatchery
Currently, all the day old chicks are being produced at Breeder Land Layers, under the highly skilled at watchful eye of Mr. Ganazani Manyera, its Division Chief Operating Officer A rigorous selection criteria is in force such that only those eggs that meet the high grading standards are selected for incubation and hatching. At each stage of the incubation and hatching process, the utmost care is taken to ensure sound hygienic standards, itself an effective quality control mechanism. Once hatched broiler day-olds are dispatched to Meat Land, while layer day old chicks are sent through to Egg Land. Other batches of day-old chicks are also delivered to contract growers or sold directly to market.
The Lunar 2 Hatchery
The Lunar Two Hatchery is still work in progress, though nearing completion and is set to be commissioned shortly. Once operational, this hatchery will specialize in the incubation and hatching of broiler day-old chicks, leaving the Breeder Land Hatchery to focus exclusively on layer day-old chicks. The hatching process in both hatchery sites is the same, with eggs coming in from Breeder Land Broilers being graded, stored before being placed in setters for 18 days. From the setters, eggs are then taken into the hatchers for three days, from which day old chicks emerge. Heat levels are kept within the body temperature range to ensure that the eggs develop well to maturity. Initially, the Lunar Two Hatchery will produce 190,000 day-old chicks for broilers but this figure is set to double once phase two of the project is complete. As is currently the case, day-old chicks from the Lunar Two Hatchery being broilers will then be dispatched internally to Meat land or distributed to Lunar’s out growers. In addition these day old chicks can also be sold to directly to market.
Meat land is a place where broilers are raised. This operation is located in the outskirts of Harare, along the Mutoko Road. Once a thriving horticultural farm called Eco-Soft, the site has been fully transformed and is now a haven for broiler production. Birds are kept for between five to six weeks at which stage they are then slaughtered for delivery to market. Meat Land has 7 state-of-the-art chicken houses each with a carrying capacity of 40 thousand birds at any one time. Also on site are at least 6 open sided houses with a carrying capacity of 20 thousand birds per house. The chickens are raised in an environment where water and food is automatically as well as efficiently distributed. The ventilation system also helps to maintain a dry and clean environment. A major attribute characteristic of the environmentally controlled chicken houses is the sophisticated lighting system which ensures that birds are raised in the best possible conditions suitable for growth. As with every other stage on the poultry production cycle disease control and bio-safety is a priority, with all measure being taken to prevent the rise and spread of diseases. Great room for expansion exists with Lunar Chickens determined to become the leading supplier of chicken not only in Zimbabwe but also in the region.
Slaughter Land is a Division of Lunar Chickens where the birds are killed, processed and packaged for delivery to market. Slaughter Land runs an abattoir, which has been accredited by both the Veterinary Services Department and the internationally acclaimed Halaal Institute. Birds are brought in from Meat Land, slaughtered in line with international best practice ensuring that the chickens produced by Lunar confirm with both sound hygiene and high quality standards. Currently Slaughter Land produces up to 10,000 birds per 8 hour shift, with this figure set to increase once a second abattoir has been completed. The operation has come a long way, with the complex from which Slaughter Land is accommodated previously having been a packing house for roses. Slaughter Land produces both fresh and frozen products within the following range:
• Whole birds
• Mixed Portions
• Special cuts, and
• Pet food.
Egg Land is a division within the Lunar Group whose focus is the production of table eggs for the Zimbabwean consumer market. In keeping with the characteristics of other Lunar sites, Egg Land has modern infrastructure of its own, with five state of the art chicken houses already in use. In these houses, the chicken feed and water is automatically distributed ensuring that the layers are raised in the best conditions possible. A deliberate focus is now being given towards the construction of high rise chicken houses for layers, as they provide a more enabling environment in which layers thrive: Additional capacity is being installed at Egg Land to ensure that Lunar Chickens becomes the single largest table egg producer by 2013. Lunar also keeps layers in conventional houses, where eggs are collected manually. However, these old style houses are temporary, being rapidly replaced by the more modern infrastructure still under construction.
THE OUT-GROWER SCHEME
Lunar Chickens also runs a vibrant out-grower scheme around the country. Here farmers are assisted and trained to become world-class poultry producers whose output will feed into the Lunar Chickens’ production cycle. Previously idle chicken production facilities around the country are becoming capacitated as a direct result of this initiative.
THE MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTION
Lunar Chickens has a vibrant marketing team supported by specialized agents whose mandate is to distribute poultry product throughout the country. Housed at No. 10 Mbuya Nehanda Street, the Sales and Distribution Centre for Lunar Chickens provides a one-stop-shop, where all Lunar Chickens’ products are found. The marketing team also comprises well-groomed in-store merchandisers whose job is to ensure the immaculate display of product within the various retail outlets in Zimbabwe, in a manner that enhances the brand and image of the Lunar Chickens’ Group.