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Egg shortage prompts SPCA warning on chicken ownership

Jan 08, 2023

The SPCA is warning people buying chickens because of the egg shortage need to remember the birds can live eight to 10 years.

Trade Me data has shown that interest in online auctions for chickens has more than doubled amid a nationwide egg shortage.

But SPCA farmed animals expert Marie McAninch said people should only get chickens if they want them around.

She said the shortage was "temporary", but when it came to owning an animal: "You have to think about the whole of their lifetime."

McAninch encouraged prospective chicken owners to do their research first, including checking local council websites.

"There may be rules about the number of chickens you can have, about whether you can have roosters and things like that."

For those able to own roosters, she said the SPCA had several up for adoption, especially in the South Island.

"So if you're in the Christchurch, Dunedin, sort of Invercargill area there's quite a few."

But Wellingtonians could also get in on the fun.

"There's quite a chatty boy there at the moment called Rupaul who's looking for a home."

Rupaul the Wellington rooster is in need of a good home. Photo: Supplied/ SPCA

Welfare must be paramount

McAninch said owning an animal was a big responsibility and its welfare must always be paramount.

Chickens needed a coop, a dust bathing area and access to a safe shelter outdoor area.

She also recommended checking there was a local vet available with avian expertise and prepared to look after chickens.

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