Click on any of the images to enlarge them 


  • 1960s (early) With greatly increased use of indoor systems, sometimes windowless to exploit the new lighting patterns, beginnings of insulation and controlled environment hybrids arrive, mostly from USA. Breeding companies become more highly organised
  • 1960 Eli Lilly & Co establish Elanco Products Company
  • 1960 Suffolk producers open a 100,000 bird factory in Eye, Suffolk under the name of Pollastra
  • 1960 Work begins on Europe’s largest processing plant a 240,000 bird a week factory in Diss
  • 1960 John F McKenna establishes JF McKenna
  • 1960 The journal of British Poultry Science is introduced
  • 1960 With the introduction of the Chunky ‘706’ broiler. Chunky eventually becomes the breeding sub-division of Ross Poultry before finally achieving its own identity as Ross Breeders (right)
  • 1961 John Knowles is approached by Cobb via the American embassy who were seeking a UK distributor and the first UK Cobb franchise was signed
  • 1961 John & Cathy Campbell move from a tenanted farm and purchase Glenrath farm in Peebleshire. They purchase 6000 day old chicks at the Royal Highland Show and house them in a garage and in farm buildings before housing them in range shelters on the farm
  • 1961 Elanco launch Tylosin to the US market
  • 1961 Lt Col Uvedale “Streak” Corbett and 50 producers erect their own processing plant in Hereford. The adopted name for the new company is Sun Valley
  • 1961 Roche start Yellow Carophyll production
  • 1961 Poultry Person of the year: Dr C Horton Smith
  • 1961 Chemical Industries launched, later to be renamed Kemin
  • 1962 E Collinson & Co Ltd established by Ernest Collinson
  • 1962 Chunky Chicks merge with E.F. Fairbairn (Holdings) Ltd of Northern Ireland and form the Chunky- Fairbairn Company
  • 1962 Stonegate Farmers Ltd established
  • 1962 The British Broiler Growers Association becomes the British Chicken Association
  • 1962 Pat & Joan Hook link up with two other breeders Donald Welfed and D.F. Sweeting in a selling operation known as Sturdy Chicks, for the co-operative marketing of Hygrade pullets and Chunky Broiler chicks
  • 1962 Faccenda Group established by Robin Faccenda
  • 1962 The Ministry of Agriculture announce that Fowl Pest compensation will cease on the 31st March 1963 and the eradication policy is to be replaced by voluntary vaccination. In the year to the end of the slaughter policy there were 3,384 outbreaks resulting in the slaughter of 11.5 million birds
  • 1962 British United Turkeys are incorporated by amalgamating Fenton Barns, Scotland (Rupert Chalmers- Watson), Hockenhull Turkeys, Chester (Hugh Arnold) and Hoppers farm, High Wycombe (John Lintern)
  • 1962 Poultry Person of the year: Mr WJ Welford
  • 1963 In his book Poultry – Modern Agribusiness Geoffrey Sykes assessed the value of smuggling US poultry into the UK to be £34 million annually
  • 1963 Bernard Matthews imports 18 of the leading strain turkeys from the USA to start a breeding division, geneticists were Dr Robert Napier and Dr Archie McFarquhar. The general manager was Derek Kelly
  • 1963 Thames Valley Eggs amalgamate with Sunrise Egg Producers & Early Eggs 
  • 1963 Poultry Person of the year: Mr Cyril Thornber (right)
  • 1964 “Animal Machines” book is published by Ruth Harrison criticising “factory farming” intensive livestock production in UK, prompting the Brambell Report into intensive production and eventually the setting up of the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC)
  • 1964 Cobb take a stand in the British Agricultural exhibition in Moscow which was visited by the Soviet Premier, Nikita Khrushchev  and was famously pictured handling one of the Cornish cockerels. A trio of Cobb parents was taken from the show to his family’s country home (above)
  • 1964 Potters Poultry, a family business established
  • 1964 National Poultry tests for broilers stopped as the facilities were required for layer trials
  • 1964 BOCM Silcock donate the Poultry Person of the year solid silver trophy to the Poultry Industry
  • 1964 R&W Paul merge with White Tomkins & Courage to form Pauls & Whites Ltd
  • 1964 Roche start Red Carophyll production
  • 1964 Poultry Person of the year: Sir J Neish Richey
  • 1965 British United Turkeys – Large white breeding turkey hen produced 66 egg and 35 poults in 20 weeks
  • 1965 British United Turkeys – Large white turkey stag weighs 21 pounds (9.5Kg) at 20 weeks
  • 1965 British United Turkeys – Large white female weighs 12 pounds (5.4Kg) at 16 weeks
  • 1965 BOCM Silcock Stoke Mandeville Research and Development Farm play host to the first Poultry Fair
  • 1965 Concept of Five Freedoms originated with the Report of the Technical Committee to Enquire into the Welfare of Animals kept under Intensive Livestock Husbandry Systems, the Brambell Report, December 1965 (HMSO London, ISBN 0 10 850286 4). This stated that farm animals should have freedom “to stand up, lie down, turn around, groom themselves and stretch their limbs,” a list that is still sometimes referred to as Brambell’s Five Freedoms. As a direct result of the Brambell Report, the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (FAWAC) was set up. This was disbanded at the same time that the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) was established by the British Government in July 1979, with some common membership. One of these bodies started to list the provisions that should be made for farm animals in five categories, which also became known as the Five Freedoms (despite the fact that not all the categories were actually freedoms). The concept was subsequently refined by FAWC so that it actually took the form of five freedoms. It has since been further updated and is now the most visited page on the Council’s Website.”
  • 1965 Poultry Veterinary Study Group of Europe formed
  • 1965 Sun Valley expands into turkey processing
  • 1965 Thames Valley Eggs amalgamate with West Midlands Egg Producers Ltd 
  • 1966 Broiler production was 175 million
  • 1966 First Poultry Industry Conference PIC (later as EPIC) takes place at the Grand Hotel Eastbourne
  • 1966 Mayfield Chicks set up by Peter Haslam to sell day old broiler chicks in Lancashire & Cheshire
  • 1966 Roche launch the Yolk Colour Fan
  • 1966 Sun Valley opens its own feed mill at Tram Inn, Allensmore, Herefordshire
  • 1966 Top Line Egg Producers Group is formed headed by Pat Hook. Producers need to have at least 2,500 birds to become a member. The group forms a co-operative and lands a contract with the Co-operative Wholesale Society
  • 1966 Broiler throughput in the UK reaches 175 million
  • 1966 Spray insulation introduced – self sealing polyurethane used for filling wall cavities
  • 1966 Cobb becomes an Anglo-American Company with Peter Beck and John Knowles directors of Cobb taking a 50% share of the US company
  • 1966 12 case collection palletainers introduced into the industry 
  • 1966 Poultry Person of the year: Mr FW Batchelor
  • 1967 Major outbreak of Foot & Mouth disease in the UK, mainly concentrated on the Welsh border with Shropshire
  • 1967 The Federation of British Poultry Industries Ltd (FBPI) is Incorporated, The objective of FBPI is to “speak for specialist production” The BCA becomes an FBPI associate
  • 1967 Elanco discover Monensin
  • 1967 Bobcat litter removing compact tractor is introduced 1967 Dow launch the coccidiostat Coyden
  • 1967 Broiler production is 200 million
  • 1967 Ford introduce the Transit Van
  • 1967 Poultry Person of the year: Mr AS Alexander
  • 1968 Chunky Broiler name changed to Ross 1 (below)
  • 1968 Chemical Industries renamed Kemin as the company Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) already existed (right).
  • 1968 Associated British Foods buy Buxted/Nitrovit Group
  • 1968 1 ton of Compound Layer Feed costs £37.00
  • 1968 Poultry World buys The Poultry Farmer magazine
  • 1968 Poultry Person of the year: Dr WP Blount
  • 1969 Man first walks on the moon on 21/07/1969
  • 1969 BOCM & Silcock Lever Feeds merged to form BOCM Silcock Ltd
  • 1969 Anglian Autoflow started in a farm workshop near Diss, Norfolk
  • 1969 First 2 day BOCM Poultry Fair at Stoke Mandeville
  • 1969 Imperial Tobacco Company acquire the Ross Group
  • 1969 The 40 year search for the cause of Marek’s Disease comes to an end when the herpes virus responsible is isolated by Dr Peter Biggs
  • 1969 Agreement to run Colne hatchery selling all chicks under the Mayfield banner
  • 1969 Broiler production in excess of 225 million
  • 1969 All Ross interests including the poultry division acquired by Imperial Group (parent company of Nitrovit Feed, Ross Breeding and Processing). The Sterling Division of Ross Poultry Limited is formed to administer breeding, sales of breeding and commercial stock, and export activities (below)
  • 1969 Poultry Person of the year: Dr JE Wilson
  • 1960s Production at Hook hatchery at Cote is approximately 150,000 birds per week selling day old Ross & Cobb chicks. Hooks move into a franchise arrangement for Hyline. Pat Hook travelling to America to gain further understanding of the layer market and the Hyline company
Chunky Chick 706 campaign
Delivery – Sterling Chicks hatching eggs
Ross Poultry
Bernard Matthews
Cyril Thornber
Ministry of Agriculture – Rearing Booklet
Nikita Khrushchev visits the Matthews stand at the British Agriculture Exhibition in Moscow
Go to work on an Egg Lion Campaign
Kemin Headquarters
Ross Chicks for delivery by air
Ross Chicks ready for delivery
Ross 1 campaign

What next? The rest is history!

If you have any memories of key moments we have missed, or any errors in the details we have included, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. With your help we can get get this section as clear, concise and accurate as possible.