Systems of Production
A large proportion of laying flocks is maintained on the intensive system, being housed throughout the year in open-fronted lean-to type of laying sheds. In recent years different types of poultry housing have been introduced, including double-decker houses, full-span gable houses, and sawtooth houses. These are now being used for the larger units of laying stock of up to 1,000 layers in one pen. The practice of housing birds in laying-cage units has gained in popularity, particularly in the Canterbury Province. In the main the birds are housed in the Californian type of laying-cage unit, but some threetier, automatically operated, laying batteries from the United Kingdom have been established in the South Island.
An egg-production survey by the Department of Agriculture, which covered over 12 months in 1960–61, dealt with 120 commercial flocks totalling approximately 220,000 birds. The results gave an average of 194 eggs per bird, calculated on a hen-day basis. Flocks varying in size were chosen from the more important poultry production areas in both islands. No later egg-production survey has been made (1965).