In a world where the demand for nutritious, sustainable protein in form of chicken has risen, one name stands out: Zamhatch. As one of the leaders in broiler chick production, Zamhatch Limited, a subsidiary of Zambeef Products PLC, is the largest integrated cold chain food products and agribusiness company in Zambia and one of the largest in the Southern African region.

When production launched in 2015, Zamhatch was hatching twice per week. That number has been growing exponentially through innovation, service, and the commitment to value, quality, and excellence making it possible to hatch six times per week in 2024.

As an integral part of the agriculture value chain, Zamhatch provides the opportunity for poultry farmers to buy day-old chicks at competitive prices from any of the outlets and Zamhatch distributors across the country. Through investments at the hatchery in Mpongwe, Zamhatch now holds a market share of 30% of chicks sold to small scale and commercial farmers in Zambia.

Priding themselves on quality

James Loloji, Acting General Manager of Zamhatch, recounts their journey of how they initially supplied Cobb500 chicks. Their pursuit for quality paid off when Zamhatch scooped the prized Cobb Champion Award in 2018. This award recognised them as the best producer of day-old broiler chicks in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region (EMEA). Since then, Zamhatch has undergone a remarkable transformation to adapt to the market with outstanding dedication to quality assurance, production efficiency, customer satisfaction, and innovation. This commitment to quality has earned Zamhatch the trust of poultry farmers across the industry.

Healthy happy chicks

Zamhatch chicks offer a remarkable feed-to-meat conversion ratio and the lowest mortality rate on the market. It is very important for the company to produce healthy chicks, and in order to maintain a mortality rate below the standard 5%, vaccination of the chicks is paramount.

“Ideally we want to be able to just place the chicks on the farm, without having to worry that they will catch a contagious disease,” says James.

At Zamhatch, the chicks receive their first vaccination in the hatchery to prepare them for the farm.

“You protect the chicks from contagious diseases on the farm by introducing these diseases to them at a controlled rate so that the body can learn how to fight the disease,” James explained.

Overcoming challenges

 Today, Zamhatch transports day-old chicks nationwide covering distances up to 950KM from the hatchery in Mpongwe, reaching towns as far as Nakonde. This requires logistics and supply upgrades including a fleet of environmentally-controlled trucks that transport chicks in comfort, ensuring they reach their destination in a good, healthy condition.

Due to the fluctuating demand for day-old chicks that would rise in October and November to meet the demand for live chickens during the festive season and dwindle after sometimes leads to culling of chicks. In a positive turn, James Loloji shared that 2023 was an excellent year as demand rose and they did not have to cull any chicks. He attributes this to the successful marketing campaigns as well as the quality of their chicks that have created a strong brand and secured market confidence.

As the sun rises in Mpongwe, the Zamhatch story unfolds as they pursue their goal to be the leading supplier of day-old chicks in Zambia. “Healthy and happy chicks make happy farmers and we are looking forward to even happier farmers,” James exclaimed. Zamhatch intends to expand its reach and increase its supply to small-scale farmers in 2024 and beyond.

For more information, visit their website at