FAQ

What free range standards are in place?
Rangitikei free range chickens are farmed and audited against all relevant New Zealand welfare standards.
 
What is the free range farm life like? 
Rangitikei’s free range chickens spend the first 3 weeks of their life indoors in a barn until they are fully feathered and equipped to handle going outside. 

Once fully-feathered, the free range chickens are free to roam during the day on their range, sheltering under trees, foraging and pecking amongst natural vegetation. At night time, they are housed in large barns to keep them warm, comfortable and safe from predators. 
 
What is the life of a Rangitikei chicken like?
For the first few weeks of life, Rangitikei chickens are raised in a large barn, in conditions similar to what a nesting hen would provide; the right amount of warmth, humidity, feed and water. 

When the chickens reach 18-21 days of age, the barn doors are opened during daylight hours to provide them access to a grassed area where they are free to roam and forage in the fresh air during daylight hours.
 
Do other wildlife or animals have access to the chickens?
Rangitikei chickens are kept in well-fenced areas adjacent to their barns and our farmers are responsible for their safety and well-being. During the day some wild birds may be present on the range. At night time, the chickens are brought inside to large barns, to keep them warm and safe from predators. 
 
Do Rangitikei chickens eat outdoors?
Chickens are free to forage outdoors amongst natural vegetation in their range, however their feed and water is provided inside the barn and is available to them at all times – day and night.
 

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Are Rangitikei chickens given growth promoting hormones?
No chickens in New Zealand are given growth promoting hormones.
 
Are Rangitikei chickens given antibiotics?
We do not routinely use any antibiotics relevant to human health in the treatment of any poultry flocks. Like other Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand (PIANZ) members, we only use antibiotics to treat sick birds or prevent the spread of infection. This is an accepted veterinary practice and such medicines can only be used on prescription from a vet. Antibiotics used are registered for use by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). If any medication is used, there are strict enforced stand down periods to ensure that birds sent for processing no longer have traces of antibiotics in their systems.

Are the chickens kept in cages whilst they are inside the barns?
Absolutely not. Chickens are free to roam in fenced areas adjacent to their barn or can move around inside the barn.  The barns are large, warm (temperature controlled) and have wood shavings on the floor.
 
Are the chickens GM?
Absolutely not.  The bird is not genetically modified at all.  Rangitikei Free Range Chickens enjoy plenty of fresh air, exercise and a nutritionally balanced diet.
 
Is your new packaging environmentally friendly?
Our trays are made from RPET and are fully recyclable - you can put these in your recycle bin for curb-side collection.
The rest of our packaging used for Rangitikei products are not currently recyclable curb-side at this stage.
 
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How are the Rangitikei farms audited?
All of our Rangitikei farms are independently audited to ensure they meet or exceed the requirements of the New Zealand Animal Code of Welfare. 

This means that any of our farms can be independently checked at any time by a third party auditor, and it also means that we can ensure that all Rangitikei free range farms meet or exceed these audited standards.

By using this process, it means that when you buy Rangitikei products you can be assured that the utmost care has been taken to ensure we have raised happy and healthy chickens.
 
Where are the Rangitikei farms?

While the brand started in the Rangitikei region over 20 years ago, due to consumer demand we now have farms dotted throughout the country in both the North and South islands to ensure product is delivered fresh throughout New Zealand.

 
Why is Rangitikei moving away from corn fed?
Our Rangitikei consumers advised us that they would prefer our Rangitikei free range chickens to have a nutritious grain based diet and we listened! You also told us that you wanted natural products with no nasty additives. We are committed to delivering our consumers free range Rangitikei chickens that are raised naturally in NZ with no added hormones, no artificial colours, flavours, ingredients, preservatives or additives and have no further processing done to any product within the range.

What will the chickens be fed if they aren't eating corn?
Rangitikei chickens enjoy a balanced diet of grains; vitamins & minerals developed by our expert poultry nutritionists to ensure the birds receive a nutritionally balanced diet.
 
Rangitikei is no longer corn-fed. Are you still free range?
Absolutely! Our Rangitikei chickens are still free to roam during the day on their range, sheltering under trees, foraging and pecking amongst natural vegetation.
 
Why have you changed your packaging?
Rangitikei has an exciting new look! As we have moved away from feeding our birds a predominantly corn-based diet we decided it was time to move away from our sunny yellow and orange striped packaging and have designed packaging showcasing the Rangitikei farm landscape that our chickens enjoy. Look out in store or go to Our Products page to check out our new green packaging!
 
Will your chickens look different now they are no longer corn-fed?

 You may notice that the distinctive yellow hue of the corn-fed Rangitikei chicken no longer exists - this is because the yellow skin and fat was natural colour resulting from the chickens eating natural carotenes in the corn and other feed ingredients which they no longer consume. Rather the fat and skin of Rangitikei chicken will now look the same as all other Free Range chicken on the market.

What’s in it for me?
Chicken from our Rangitikei Free Range farms have come from healthy and happy chickens; by choosing these products you can be confident the food is humanely-produced and contains no unnecessary additives. Our free range Rangitikei chickens are raised in NZ with no added hormones.
 
Why do Free Range food products cost more?
The cost difference is generally minor compared to the benefits of better quality food, and the satisfaction consumers get from knowing the food is ethically produced. But the fact is it simply costs more to farm animals in open spaces than in other more intensive farming practises.

 

Cooking & Storage Tips

What’s the best way to store raw chicken?
Keep poultry cold, preferably in a fridge at temperatures of 0-4°C. Frozen poultry must be stored at temperatures lower than -12°C.
Always cook poultry by the Use By date indicated, or freeze on day of purchase.
Thaw poultry in the fridge or in the microwave, never on the kitchen bench. Allow 24 hours for thawing.
Always wash your hands, chopping boards and utensils in hot soapy water after handling raw poultry and dry thoroughly on a clean towel.
 
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Contact Us

Level 3, 100 Carlton Gore Rd
Newmarket
Auckland
Private Bag 99927
 
PHONE
0800 244 253
EMAIL
feedback@rangitikeichicken.co.nz

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