Chicken – a New Zealand favourite

Chicken is an extremely popular meat – often the first choice for New Zealand consumers. Between us, we eat around 37.5kg of chicken every year – that’s around 20 chickens per person, per year.

To meet demand, the poultry industry has 180 farms around the country, employing 3500 people. There is a government mandated code of welfare and our high standards of training, stockmanship and systems mean NZ chicken is in high demand around the world. In fact, we are often described as the best place in the world to grow chickens, as our temperate climate, advanced systems and disease-free status produces tasty chickens for the table.

Farming chickens

Two types of bird are grown here – Ross and Cobb. Both birds originated in the UK and USA and produce excellent meat. Chickens are raised either in barns or free-range to a strict code of welfare. Industry training ensures high standards of stockmanship and care and, as an industry, PIANZ works closely with vets, government, scientists and researchers to ensure that our birds remain health and disease-free.

Farm to Table

Every care is taken of the birds from the farm right the way through to your table. Birds are traceable back to point of origin and each part of the chicken’s journey – from day old chick to harvest, truck to processing, processing to supermarket shelves is governed by strict codes of welfare. Once the bird is in your kitchen we recommend you follow recommended food handling procedures – details here – and to take you through the process of safely preparing and cooking your chicken, Annabelle White’s video is here to help.