The coronavirus pandemic is affecting everyone. Parents suddenly find themselves homeschooling their children, fights are breaking out over toilet paper, and people are losing their jobs at an alarming rate. It’s scary out there. There are a few effects of this pandemic that are unique to chicken owners. No matter if you have two hens or 200, you have probably noticed the difference.
Crazy Chicken Lady No More
Two months ago, you might have been referred to as the “Crazy Chicken Lady” but now, you’re everyone’s best friend. As stores have run short of eggs, people are looking to their local backyard chicken owners to find a new supply. Personally, I have sold a record number of eggs in the past month. Sometimes even taking orders for eggs my hens hadn’t even laid yet. Talking to other chicken owners around the country, it seems many are in the same boat. No longer are we looking for egg heavy recipes to use up all our extra eggs. Now we are just trying to keep what we need and supplying the neighborhood with the rest.
The Gift of Eggs
One trend I found very uplifting was the gifting of eggs. Many times during crisis situations, people start price gouging to take advantage of the shortages of supplies. Not chicken owners. Chicken owners are a special breed and instead of upping their prices, I found many who said they were simply giving their eggs away. Either to neighbors, friends or even just donating to the local food bank. Price gouging may be happening at your local grocery store, but most backyard chicken owners seem to be coming together to help their fellow humans.
Can I Buy Your Chicken?
One trend that has been a little strange has been the offer to purchase chickens. I have had a few people ask if I had any chickens past laying age that they could purchase to butcher. There isn’t a lot of chicken in our local grocery store, so they came to me looking for another source of chicken. I have read accounts of people being offered a pretty penny to part with their best-laying hens. People are getting desperate and desperate people do desperate things. Which leads me to my next point…
Lock Up Your Chickens
When the rumors started circulating about chicken and egg theft, I almost passed it up as a new urban legend, but after some research, I found I was sadly mistaken. One woman I spoke to from Pennsylvania said she noticed more traffic by her home one day, and the next she was four chickens short. Another person from Kentucky said after visiting her mother-in-law in the hospital, she returned home to find a dozen eggs missing from her coop. Both are now locking their coops.
Locking up your chickens to protect them from theft isn’t something you might have thought about pre-coronavirus, but it is something you might want to consider today.
The Waiting Game
For most of us, we are trying to wait this out the best we can. Each day new headlines scream the number of infected and dead due to this awful virus. I have stopped watching the news. Not because I am denying it exists, but because I can only stand so much bad news. Instead, I have spent more time in the garden and more time loving on my chickens. If I get truly bored, I came across this video on chicken training. Yea, those girls might be in trouble before too long.