Media Release 7 April 2016 Isolated negligence of one farmer does not reflect Colony farming practice Allegations by SAFE that the Colony cage farming system causes increased mortality and poor welfare among layer hens is being strongly rejected by the Egg Industry. The Egg Producer Federation (EPF) has been working with the Ministry of Primary […]Read More
Egg Farming in NZ
Feeding a nation of egg-lovers
New Zealand has one of the most ideal egg farming environments in the world, being free from many of the pests and disease strains that other countries experience, and it leads the world in many areas of farm practice and animal welfare. Today, New Zealand has around 180 egg farms.
The first hens were brought here by Captain James Cook in 1773, and centuries on they are one of the most important sources of food for our country, providing vital protein and nutrients at an affordable price to a nation of egg-lovers.
Kiwis are now eating around 237 eggs per person per year (as at June 30 2021), more than double the 100 we were eating in the early 20th century when most people relied on backyard coops and small free-range operations. As the demand for eggs has grown, our farming methods have had to evolve and expand in order to meet the nation’s need for around one billion eggs per year.
Retail sales of eggs are worth upwards of $286 million and up to 85% of commercially farmed eggs are sold as ‘table eggs’, with the remainder used in the baking and catering industries. New Zealand also has a small but increasing export base to the Pacific Islands and Oceania regions.
As an industry still growing and always improving, the past decade has seen commercial egg farmers working collectively to modernise methods and housing systems across different farming types.
With the introduction of colonies, New Zealand is among the world’s best practice in egg farming. Already favoured in the EU, Colony cage systems meet all Government-mandated quality and welfare requirements while helping maintain the affordability of eggs for consumers.
Cage systems include both conventional cages and colony cage environment systems. Conventional cages are to be phased out by 2022 and replaced with colony systems. As at December 2021, 20% of the national flock are are in conventional cages, 33% in colonies, 14% in barn and 33% free-range. This compares to 67.1% in current cages in December 2016 and 86% in 2012.
What is? Free-range egg production – Birds have access to the range all day; maximum flock density is 2,500 birds per hectare (inside area density is 1111 square cm per bird); birds have perches, nest boxes and scratching areas Barn production – Birds do not have access to range; inside density of 1428 square cms per […]Read More
Have you wondered how much it would cost the New Zealand egg industry to move from conventional cage egg production to alternative systems such as Free-range, Colony cage and Barn? The answer, as the independent economic reports on this page show is: quite a lot. For a typical egg farmer, the estimated cost of phasing-out […]Read More
The NZ Egg Farming Information mini website offers concise, fact-rich answers to many questions about eggs and egg farming in New Zealand. Compiled by knowledgeable New Zealand farmers, it addresses the key interests and concerns of today’s consumers about eggs and how they are produced. It’s a great source of accurate and balanced information about a wide […]Read More
Turks Ltd employee Joanne Wells is delighted after picking up the 2013 Poultry Trainee of the Year Award after only two and a half years working in the industry. The prestigious award is given annually by the poultry industry to recognise its top-performing Primary ITO trainee. “This award demonstrates our support for a highly skilled and […]Read More
New Zealand’s modern egg industry is built on a balanced and sustainable approach to farming and food production. This means considering hen health and welfare, human health and nutrition, food safety, the environment, public attitudes and cost – all together to provide eggs New Zealanders can enjoy now and in the future. Already fortunate to […]Read More