Friday, 05 February 2016 11:52

NZ video of free range hens goes viral

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A New Zealand online video showing thousands of free range hens rushing outside into the sun and open fields has gone viral with 620,000 views and growing.

The footage shows a huge flock of happy hens heading for their 4ah playground at Otaika Valley Free Range just south of Whangarei, Northland, after the doors to the barn are opened at 8am.

The hens at the free range farm spend their day roaming, scratching and pecking the ground, dust-bathing, foraging in the grass, resting under trees and congregating at the waterhole. The video shows hens running and scattering everywhere.

As creatures of habit they then return to the security of the spacious barn at night to roost, feed and lay.

William Sandle, sales manager at Otaika Valley, says the daily routine is always fantastic to see so the family owned business wanted to share it with others online:

"We post videos all the time but this one has caught the eye of international websites - I think it's surprised a lot of people to see hens with lots of space. It was only when we were inundated with overseas emails and Facebook posts we realised our farm had gone viral," he says.

"For us, the video shows our day to day world but for others it provides a glimpse of free range farming, and it's entertaining. Our hens do what and when they want. The result is good quality eggs.

"We love showing people our farm - we find hens like freedom, but they also want the security and community of the barn - it's great the world has the chance to see what we do through video."

Otaika Valley Free Range is one of New Zealand's largest producers of free range eggs and its production has recently been noticed by Countdown who are now selling the brand through 50 of its upper North Island supermarkets.

Countdown's general manager of merchandise, Chris Fisher says: "At Countdown, many of our customers choose free range eggs and, we're committed to working with our supplier partners, like Otaika Valley, to make sure they are available for our customers.

"As our relationship with Otaika Valley grows we hope to increase the supply of Free Range eggs in our stores."

The video has gone viral just two days after another New Zealand farming video, of a flock of sheep blocking a road near Gisborne, went viral with 2.5 million views. Called "lamb-pede" on YouTube it was posted by a Canadian tourist.

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