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Niueans Encouraged to Eat Free Range Chooks

Niueans Encouraged to Eat Free Range Chooks

By Jeremy Rose

Niue’s Director of Health Dr Sitaleki Finau is encouraging Niueans to begin eating free range chickens. Unlike in most countries the move would actually save locals money. Thousands of chickens roam the island mostly unmolested because Niueans prefer to eat imported factory reared chooks.

Click to enlarge

A family of chooks at the Alofi cemetery.

Dr Finau, who regularly catches and processes the birds for his own dinner table, says there would be both economic and health advantages in switching to the local birds.

But he says Niueans may take some convincing. “It’s a low status food, they raise their noses over that of course we the Tongans, the Fijians, the Samoans and other expatriates look at as free range chicken and you know that’s very sexy in New Zealand to eat free range chicken, free range eggs and one of the issues we studying is how we can raise the status of these things so the locals can eat them.”

Dr Finau says the birds are particularly tasty and it only takes him about 15 minutes to catch and process a bird ready for the pot.

Former premier Young Vivian agrees the birds are tasty and healthier than the imported ones but is sceptical that the younger generation will take to them.

"They're tougher and have a stronger taste. I don't think the young people like that."



Jeremy Rose's visit to Niue was sponsored by the Pacific Co-operation Foundation.

Copyright Jeremy Rose. Email:

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