Cobb Vantress NZ is a global poultry livestock business producing an impressive 10% of the world’s chicken protein, right on our back doorstep.
Nestled in beautiful farmland in the North Waikato, Cobb is always on the lookout for people keen to start as Farmhands and, for those who have what it takes, work their way up to become Technicians, Team Leads or Managers.
Cobb is the world’s oldest poultry breeding company, having started life as Cobbs Pedigreed Chicks Inc. on old Pickard Farm in Littleton, Massachusetts, USA in 1916. In 2017 Cobb opened its 40,000sqm New Zealand 19-shed farm complex just outside Huntly.
Approximately 120,000 birds are raised and live at this fully biosecure site with important disease controlled access requiring shower in/shower out facilities for staff, in each shed. More than 2 millions chicks are distributed to the international market each year.
Interested in working at Cobb?
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Find out more about the Cobb Story here »
On the job
A typical day at work includes tasks such as…
- Ensuring all chickens are treated humanely, at all times
- Daily welfare walks
- Water intake checks and recording
- Ensuring feed rates are correct
- Maintaining temperature set points
- Feed clean up – checks and recording
- Collecting floor eggs
- Recording egg numbers
- Egg weighing and recording
- Egg grading
- Data recording and sending
- Shed and equipment set up
- Checking and maintaining rodent bait stations
Former Te Kauwhata College student Phoenix Popata (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahu) is a Cobb farmhand. He scored his first ever job there two years ago because he knew the manager of the hatchery who encouraged him to apply for a job.
The Cobb Roadmap
From farm to processing
Where it all begins
Cobb operates three types of farms to produce and collect the eggs that become Cobb products; Pedigree, Great Grandparent (GGP) and Grandparent (GP). Some eggs and day-old chicks are sold to customers while others stay on the farm and become pedigree stock. Waikato is a Pedigree GGP farm.
Let’s hatch some chicks!
Eggs are transported from the GP farms to hatcheries twice each week where they are set in incubators until they hatch after 21 days. Then the team grades, vaccinates, counts and delivers the chicks to customers.
What a mash!
The Feed Mills
Three feed mills store, mix and deliver feed to all Cobb operations. Nutritionists develop the feed formulas to include an ideal blend of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
Are we there yet?
Transportation is a critical part of the business because safe and humane bird handling means customers receive the best quality product. Local drivers deliver the eggs collected from the farms to hatcheries. Drivers transport day-old chicks from hatcheries to Cobb customers.
Keeping the birds safe
Animal Welfare and Quality Assurance
Cobb is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of the chickens they breed, raise and distribute world-wide. Cobb regularly educates and trains all team members and growers about standards and expectations for bird handling, care and biosecurity. A team of skilled veterinarians manage flock health and co-ordinate with industry researchers and experts to continuously advance poultry health and well-being.
Efficiency, consistency and uniformity
While Cobb does not directly process chickens, a World Technical Support team specialises in processing best practices and outcome-based strategies that help customers get the best results. The team visits its distributors and integrators processing facilities on a regular basis.