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.
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 226 eggs per person per year, 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 amongst the world’s best practice in egg farming. Colony cage production systems are already favoured in the EU and are proposed to be adopted in the US with support from their Humane Society. Colony cage systems meet all Government-mandated quality and welfare requirements, while helping maintain the affordability of eggs for consumers.
Today, New Zealand currently has around 146 egg farms. Conventional cages, which account for the majority of eggs, produced (75%) are to be replaced by 2022. Currently the remaining eggs are being farmed in colony cage systems, barns and free-range. Organic eggs make up around 1%*. *Based on independent supermarket sales data.
The Colony system of egg production has been in the news lately but many New Zealanders are still unfamiliar with it.Read More
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
Just four countries – New Zealand, the UK, Switzerland and Austria – are deemed worthy of the highest ‘A’ rating in the Animal Protection Index issued earlier this month by the UK-based World Animal Protection (WAP) organisation. WAP’s overall rankings are based on a wide range of indicators relating not only to farm animals, but also to animals […]Read More