Poultry Farming in New Zealand: Breeds, How to Start

Poultry Farming in New Zealand: Breeds, How to Start


Poultry is outlined as elevating domesticated breeds of birds, together with chickens, turkeys, geese, geese, guinea fowl, and quails, that are raised for his or her meat and eggs. Chickens are by far the biggest group of farmed birds in New Zealand. A small variety of companies elevate turkeys, geese, and different species resembling quail. The two fundamental breeds grown in New Zealand are the Ross and the Cobb. New Zealand primarily imports eggs from these two firms. Let’s take a look at extra details about Poultry farming in New Zealand.

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Housing administration

New methods are wanted to catch the following wave of development in the New Zealand poultry trade. Meat chickens aren’t saved in cages however are saved in giant warehouses. They have entry to meals and water and may transfer across the warehouse on wooden shaving or paper litter. Each shed sometimes accommodates 25,000-45,000 chickens, relying on the dimensions and deliberate processing weight. The chickens are reared till they attain the best weight (32-42 days). Chickens have entry to an space of ​​greater than three sq. meters and embody;

  • Rain-proof rooster coop for laying eggs
  • At least 30 cm of roost or perch per rooster
  • A minimal roof peak of 60cm
  • A floor for pecking and scratching
  • A secluded nesting space

Where to hold your rooster coop

  • Place the coop in a spot that’s least seemingly to disturb neighbors. 
  • Make positive the chickens are restricted and can’t go away the property freely. 

Free-range chickens in New Zealand

Like all chickens reared in New Zealand, free-range birds breed very quick and undergo from all of the well being issues that chickens are raised indoors. There is not any trade normal for free-range rooster farming in New Zealand, and the poultry birds should be ready to attain outdoors. This entry is normally in small ‘pop holes’ across the shed.

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Poultry Housing
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Free-range rooster sheds can accommodate up to 35,000 birds – and similar to most chickens reared in sheds in New Zealand, a mix of overcrowding and well being issues that stop them from strolling or standing makes it troublesome to go to the pop holes. The truth is that a lot of the chickens on the ‘free vary’ farms aren’t bodily ready to step outdoors.

Laying eggs 

Two hatcheries in New Zealand lay eggs in a managed setting cupboard and promote chickens to farmers. Producers also can purchase 16–18-week-old pullets, beginning to lay eggs in just a few weeks. It takes for mature chickens to attain maturity and lay eggs has decreased. Chickens are actually maturing quicker as a result of they’ve been bred to achieve this. The feed accounts for 60-70% of the overall price of egg manufacturing. Other costs embody livestock housing and care, egg processing, packaging, storage, distribution, and advertising. 

Commercial layer hens in New Zealand 

Most business layer hens in New Zealand are Hyline Brown or Brown Shaver. Both are brown-feathered varieties with some white plumage, particularly in the tail. In New Zealand, layer hens may be saved in cages, colonies, warehouses, or free-range. Like many birds, hens are produced from wild birds, and this heritage nonetheless influences their habits at the moment. Layered hens are additionally cautious of enormous open areas the place they might pose a menace to predators. They desire shelters or boundaries with bushes and bushes. 

Commercial hens are distinctive birds chosen for egg farming as a result of they lay greater high quality eggs than different breeds. About 3 million business layer chickens are produced in New Zealand every year. Poultry breeding firms handle their breeding to make sure that the chickens are the perfect and keep worldwide genetic developments. In addition, there are strict quarantine and breeding rules to assist hold our nation’s excessive disease-free standing.

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Poultry Shed
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Each yr, hatching eggs from two main worldwide firms are imported into New Zealand beneath Ministry for Primary Industries supervision. These hatchings would be the grandparents of the final layer of chickens: they may breed father or mother inventory, which can then breed the third breed of layer chickens used in New Zealand egg farms.

Poultry breeds in New Zealand


Araucana is a pleasure to develop as a result of they don’t want particular care. This breed has quite a few colour variations, probably the most well-known in New Zealand being Lavender Araucana. They had been initially made in Chile and are a wonderful layer of medium-sized shiny blue-green eggs. These are medium-sized birds which can be fairly powerful. 


It is a big breed of the dual-purpose rooster breed. Traditionally these hens lay darkish pink / brown eggs for which they’re broadly recognized and have a tough, nice layer. It is fairly normal in New Zealand now. Barnevelder present a fantastic sample on their wings, a brown feather with double black lacing to create an ‘arrowhead’ impact. It is a superb dual-purpose breed. Barnevelder has distinctive brown and black wings which can be formed like arrows. 


Three colours of Leghorn are normal in New Zealand. They are White Leghorn, additionally brown and black. They are a really hardy breed, however chickens’ comb may be delicate to chilly. Nevertheless, they’re good fodder and may collect most of their meals from fields and orchards. Leghorns are fairly able to flying and infrequently roost in bushes when given the chance. 


Many colours of this breed are normal in New Zealand. One common colour is Black Orpington. These are hardy, giant dual-purpose birds that lay medium to giant gentle brown eggs. It is a dual-purpose breed, bred for eggs and meat, however quickly turned an unique present chook. 

Plymouth Rock

It is a big twin breed of American-made rooster quickly gaining recognition in New Zealand. Barred coloring is by far the most well-liked of the seven varieties. They are strong and hardy birds and are a mean layer of enormous, gentle brown to nearly pinkish eggs.

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Poultry Feeding
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Sicilian Buttercup

This breed, initially from the island of Sicily, has been round for nearly 1000 years. They come in solely one-color sort, and the NZ inventory seems completely different from the unique Italian breed colour. The finest layers of little white to cream-colored eggs.


It is a British dual-purpose breed of rooster, reared for its meat and eggs. It was one of many main breeds saved till fashionable industrial hybrid traces displaced it in the early twentieth century. So it may be thought of a dual-purpose chook. Raises chickens and makes good moms. Sussex is deemed to be robust and straightforward to deal with.

The Sussex breed was initially bred in England as a dual-purpose chook. They can tolerate chilly situations. It is a well-liked breed in New Zealand. The most typical colour of Sussex is ‘Light Sussex’ – a white rooster with black feathers on the neck, wings, and tail suggestions. 

Rhode Island / New Hampshire Reds

Rhode Island Red eggs are medium to giant and lightweight brown. These are two different well-known dual-purpose American races in the NZ and heavy breeds. They have a deep connection, the principle distinction being the sunshine colour of New Hampshire. These are good layers of enormous gentle brown eggs. 


A really hardy and powerful chook is a Frizzle rooster whose wings flutter outwards. Some New Zealanders see them as a separate breed; others see them solely as mutations as a result of Frizzles can seem in nearly each race and colour. 


The most typical Belgian breed in New Zealand. A small however very enticing breed. This breed has two colours, gold and silver. 

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Poultry Farm
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Feeding administration for poultry farming in New Zealand

Chickens must be fed extensively for an entire and balanced weight-reduction plan. It ought to include blended grains, pellets, mash, and inexperienced meals, which must be a vital a part of the weight-reduction plan. Most diets comprise energy-crop corn, soybean meal for protein, and vitamin and mineral dietary supplements. Most individuals desire pellets over mash as a result of it’s typically wasted. Wheat is a favourite meals of chickens, however it must be fed sparingly.

It is finest to feed germinated wheat throughout the chilly months. Table scraps are one other nice favourite as a result of chickens are omnivorous and can eat something, even their eggshells that you just ate for breakfast. Some individuals counsel not feeding your birds some desk scraps, resembling potato peels or avocado skins, however if you’re free and your birds aren’t pushed to eat, they may choose and choose what they need to eat. 

Poultry birds’ well being care 

New Zealand poultry is freed from three main chook illnesses Newcastle illness, infectious bursal illness, and notifiable avian influenza. Birds in New Zealand don’t want to be vaccinated towards these main illnesses. New Zealand poultry is unlikely to be uncovered to extremely pathogenic, notifiable avian influenza (chook flu). The nation will not be on the flight path of migratory birds that unfold the illness. No recent or frozen poultry imports meat, consuming eggs, or dwell poultry.

Animal Welfare 

New Zealand has a fame as an island nation freed from main pests and illnesses and is a rustic that maintains the best requirements of animal welfare. As a outcome, it has a singular place on broiler well being, due to the absence of main illnesses, higher administration, and better storage ranges. This state of excessive well being is crucial as a result of New Zealand customers are more and more questioning what is completed with the rooster they eat and the way these chickens are raised. 

Across New Zealand, there are about 180 farms that elevate chickens for his or her meat. Most of those chickens dwell brief lives in windowless sheds with 40,000 different birds. Birds are shut to one another and have little or no area to roam or do their typical factor. As the chickens develop, the dwelling situations contained in the shed deteriorate. The ground on which they dwell will not be cleaned till the birds are taken to be killed; that’s, tens of hundreds of birds accumulate lifelong waste. Because of those situations, chickens are routinely fed antibiotics to stop the unfold of illnesses and infections. 

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Poultry Farming
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Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand (PIANZ) 

PIANZ represents the pursuits of over 99% of poultry meat producers in New Zealand. It ensures that producers meet strict animal welfare, storage, and meals security requirements. PIANZ represents the pursuits of over 99% of poultry processors in New Zealand, notably the 4 most distinguished firms, Tegel, Inghams, Brinks, and Turks. 

The New Zealand meat rooster trade is fashionable, extremely environment friendly, and vertically built-in, with giant firms primarily owned by hatcheries, rooster farms, and processing vegetation. New Zealand meat and rooster firms additionally promote and export their merchandise beneath particular person manufacturers. Meat rooster farmers normally work for firms on a contract administration foundation.

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