One of your neighbours may keep hens or you may have seen them scratching in the dirt in a clearing. From time to time domestic birds have been released and now small flocks of feral chickens are found all across New Zealand.
If given the freedom of an enclosed backyard hens will eat grubs, bugs and insects. They are likely to dig up seedlings and small plants in the vegie garden but they will reward their owners with a regular supply of golden yolked eggs. Roosters are generally not permitted within urban boundaries.
In 2009 in NZ more than 80 million chickens were farmed for their meat (delicious roast chicken, chicken burgers and fried chicken legs) and more than 1 billion eggs were laid.