Irvine’s Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd
FounderWilliam Irvine
HeadquartersHenley Drive Extension, Waterfalls, Harare, Zimbabwe
Key people
David John Irvine
ProductsChicken and Eggs
ServicesPoultry Production

Irvine's Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd is Zimbabwe's largest poultry production company. It has been producing chicken in Southern Africa since the 1950's and in this time, the company has grown from a single room in a home to producing over 1,5 million day old chicks per week across Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Botswana. With roots in Zimbabwe, Irvine’s has expanded to cater for Africa’s growing appetite for the finest poultry products.


Bill Irvine started Irvine's Day Old Chicks with his wife using their spare bedroom in Waterfalls in 1957. Today Irvine's produces over 50 million chicks per year, over 18 million dozens of table eggs per year and over 15 000 tonnes of frozen chicken per year.

Bill Irvine met with Tony Barnes and John Knowles of Cobb Breeding Company in 1962. They organised the first importation of COBB100 birds. These birds were placed in open sided housing at Huxton Road.

Irvine’s have been producing chicken in Southern Africa since the 1950’s and in this time, the company has grown from a single room in a home to producing over 1,5 million day old chicks per week across Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Botswana. With roots in Zimbabwe, Irvine’s has expanded to cater for Africa’s growing appetite for the finest poultry products.

The story doesn’t end there, today Irvine’s reach extends to over 20 countries across Africa, in which they support local industries through the supply of Cobb Broilers, Nutritional products, Animal Health products, Equipment and Technical support. Furthermore, wherever Irvine’s works, they work to uplift communities. Investing in training programs to assist people – particularly the youth – to develop skills and earn income. Irvine’s are seeding prosperity in rural areas whilst nourishing the entrepreneurial spirit of Africa.

Board of Directors

  • CEO - David John Irvine
  • Finance Director - Zita Matonda
  • Technical Director - Craig Irvine


Grand Parents

Irvine’s grandparent farms are situated in the Harare South area. Cobb grandparent chicks are imported from Cobb UK and reared under strict environmental and bio-security controls. Twenty seven weeks later, the birds start laying hatching eggs which are transferred to the parent hatchery where they hatch into Cobb parent day old chicks. The increase in production of parent day old chicks has seen Irvine’s Zimbabwe penetrate into regional markets with over 50% market share in a number of countries. The Cobb parents will start to hatch at about 27 weeks. Some hatching eggs are sold to local and regional hatcheries for production of chicks only after satisfaction of the local day old chick requirements. Majorty of the hatching eggs are transferred to the Commercial hatchery for hatching of broiler day old chicks.

Commercial Hatchery

Irvine’s is one of the largest producers of day old chicks in the region with two commercial hatcheries situated on Derbyshire Farm in Waterfalls producing over 1 million chicks per week. Both hatcheries are equipped with state of the art incubators to facilitate for hatching. The fully air conditioned hatcheries utilises the latest cutting edge technology with in-ovo vaccination (into the egg at 18 days of incubation) and automatic egg removal of infertile eggs.

Broiler Production

Irvine’s Zimbabwe are up to date with technology and have a large number of controlled environment sheds for broiler production situated on Derbyshire Farm in Waterfalls, Harare. As part of Irvine’s Economic empowerment initiatives, about 60% of Irvine’s day old chick production are supplied to indigenous contract farmers who grow the broilers on behalf of the company and bring them back to the Irvine’s processing plant for slaughter. All contract farmers have adhere to the strict Irvine’s and government veterinary bio security standards so as to have farm to fork quality assurance.

Commercial Layers

Irvine’s Zimbabwe is one of the largest table egg producers in the region. The Commercial layers farms are located on Derbyshire farm in waterfalls and in Harare South area. Irvine’s are breeders of the German H & N layer which is ideal for table egg production because it efficiently produces high proportion of large brown eggs popular in the Southern African region. Table eggs are freshly picked daily and transferred to the Egg plant for grading and packing.

Chicken Processing Plant

The Irvine’s Zimbabwe processing plant is situated on Derbyshire Farm in Waterfalls. The plant achieved a milestone in the history of food industry in Zimbabwe by being the first food processing company in Zimbabwe to be certified by SABS, to ISO 22 000, an internationally recognised food safety standard. The Irvine’s processing plant is now SABS FSSC 22 000 which is a quality level above ISO 22 000. The plant is equipped with state of the art machinery that is essential in the production of superior quality chicken products.

Irvine’s has a modern processing plant able to process 250,000 chickens per week for sale into the local retail and fast food outlets. The plant has a number of features such as automatic scales, spiral freezer and automatic packaging to enable the production of high quality chicken to international standards.

Egg Plant

The Irvine’s Egg plant is situation on Derbyshire Farm in Waterfalls. The egg plant is accredited to ISO 22000, an internationally recognised food safety standard. The egg plant is equipped with state of the art egg grading machines that automatically sort the eggs according to weight. The machinery in the egg plant is designed to pack eggs in a variety of sizes to satisfy the needs of customers. Eggs are graded at Irvine’s egg packing station where reject and damaged eggs are removed. Eggs are then printed with Irvine’s name and automatically packed into trays or smaller boxes for distribution across Zimbabwe.

Feed Mill

The Irvine’s feed mill is situated on Derbyshire Farm in waterfalls. The Mill takes care of the feed requirements of our broiler and layer production farms. Our world-class quality assurance ensures sterile and pathogen-free raw materials and production environment. We also have an in-house Nutritionist who ensures that the feed recipes are designed to suit each type of chicken at every stage of the production process for increased efficiency and more importantly, improved quality of the end product.

It has a capacity of 25 tonnes of feed per hour and is able to produce a good quality high spec ration. In addition the mill has considerable storage facilities in the form of grain silos and bunker silos for non-grain products allowing Irvine’s to buy from the local market and store for future use.

Zimvet Laboratory

Zimvet is a wholly own subsidiary of Irvine’s Zimbabwe. The Zimvet laboratory was the first private lab in Zimbabwe to be accredited by SANAS, to ISO/IEC 17025 to perform accredited testing services. ISO/IEC 17025 is an international quality standard directing the general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories.

For Irvines’ Zimbabwe, using a technically competent laboratory minimises the risk of producing and supplying contaminated products. Zimvet offers Irvine’s Zimbabwe and its customers the benefit of an increased level of confidence in the accuracy of the test results that come with their products.

Irvine's Cares

Charity Begins at Home

Irvine’s always cared about its employees and their families with the workforce increasing from 13 people in 1957 to over 2000 presently. Housing and amenities for staff and workers alike have formed the backbone for the development of the Company in the belief that people living on the site of operations will be more focussed and diligent if their domestic circumstances are secure. To this end there are 16 dwelling houses for Management, 12 on Derbyshire and six on Lanark Farm. Five roomed worker houses with power, water borne sewage and water reticulation total 352 units clustered in village communities at Derbyshire, Carnock and Lanark with a modern clinics staffed by a State Registered Nurse located adjoining Derbyshire Village and Lanark Village. Both clinics are visited by the Company Doctor Mike Simoyi twice a week for clinic sessions and many an employee recalls how “the Company Doctor” has attended late at night in emergencies.

Derbyshire School adjacent to Derbyshire Village has 548 pupils while Ardno School has 280 pupils – both schools compete in the annual Best School Competition in terms of amenities and facilities and are regularly marked in the top five primary schools in Mashonaland East Province.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Irvine’s have made a difference in the community in and have been working with a number of charity organizations for years with the majority of them within their local community of Waterfalls. These include, Jairos Jiri Waterfalls, Zim Downs Association, Harare Children's Home as well as Waterfalls Trust Old People’s home. These homes care for people with disabilities ranging from old age, mental as well as physical. These homes depend on Irvine’s donations of chicken and eggs for their nutritional well being as they are incapable of fending for themselves.[1]

To develop the training and empowerment in rural areas, Irvine’s Zimbabwe has set up demonstration chicken houses in the following provinces/ districts of Zimbabwe:

Irvines Chicken


  1. [1], Irvine's Chicken, Published: No Date , Accessed: 20 February 2020