Cluck cluck! Why everyone wants a hen right now
ONE positive thing to come from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is that Northern Rivers residents are moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle.
With gardening supplies, fruit and veggie seeds and seedlings in high demand, another hot commodity for the back yard is chickens, with reports that birds are flying off farm trucks the day they arrive.
An Alstonville Poultry Farm employee, who preferred to be unnamed, said they were all out of chickens, but they hoped to have more hens available at the end of the month.
"The last two deliveries sold out from the growers out in one day," they said.
"There has been a shortage of birds since the pandemic hit."
'Til The Cows Come Home (TTCCH) founder and chief executive, Donna Wild, further confirmed the demand for hens had skyrocketed since COVID-19 hit the region.
She said the past few months, the Mullumbimby animal rescue and adoption charity had seen 10 times the usual chicken adoption applications since the not-for-profit organisation started in May 2018.
"In our busiest month through Covid, we managed 1602 hen adoptions," Ms Wild said.
"There were hundreds more inquiries for hens but that's all we could collect and rehome at that time.
"The months leading up to Covid in 2019 (in the same region) we averaged 153 hens a month."
While TTCCH rehome all farmed animals, Ms Wild said the biggest increase in adoptions overall was for hens, mostly because potential adopters want eggs, but also due to the general public increase for pets.
"People knew that isolation was coming and wanted to be sure their homes would be sustainable as far as food and entertainment goes," she said.
"The fear that's occurred has caused a push into more a more sustainable way of living, growing your own food, having chickens and it will be ongoing. More people will be wanting to live like this, just in case."
She said the extra demand for hens had definitely put extra pressure on the charity - who have been managing to try and meet the demand and have just launched a fundraiser for better transportation facilities to do so.
"We had to double the amount of adoption consultants from two to four and train extra volunteers," she said.
"Our holding station got bombarded, the volunteers exhausted, overworked, there were more hens than they'd ever had before."
To donate head to: https://til-the-cows-come-home.giveeasy.org/help-save-thous …
To find out more, head to 'Til the Cows Come Home on Facebook.