Thursday, 11 February 2016 20:14

Otaika Valley Free Range responds to viral video

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A bunch of chooks have added to the positive attention New Zealand primary industries have been receiving online recently. A bunch of chooks have added to the positive attention New Zealand primary industries have been receiving online recently.

A bunch of chooks have added to the positive attention New Zealand primary industries have been receiving online recently.

A video showing thousands of free range hens rushing outside into the sun and open fields has gone viral and attracted international attention.

The video had attracted 1.3 million hits late last week and was getting about 100,000 hits a day.

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

It is too early to say whether it has boosted sales, says William Sandle, sales manager, Otaika Valley Free Range.

"But we are very excited about the profile our farm has received – we have been inundated with comments from around the world.

"We took the video to show others what we have and the type of egg farming that's possible in New Zealand. It's definitely struck a chord. We think people are amazed to see hens enjoying lots of space and of course the result is high quality eggs."

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.

Sandle 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 ... 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."

Otaika Valley Free Range is one of our largest producers of free range eggs and Countdown sells the brand through 50 of its upper North Island supermarkets.

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.

See the Otaika hens below.

If the video's not loading, watch it here.

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