Raising backyard chickens has been trendy for years, especially here in California. But amid the current pandemic, the surging demand for chicks has been so extreme that hatcheries and feed stores are having trouble keeping them in stock.
Many are sold out.
“It’s completely unprecedented,” said Megan Raff, a co-owner of Dare 2 Dream Farms, a boutique seller in Lompoc, Calif. “There’s a shortage of eggs, and people want to raise their own chickens. We’re all trying to stay home and not go to the grocery store.”
She and her husband sold about 8,000 baby chicks and chickens in March—10 times the rate of a year ago. She is trying to stagger pickup times to allow for social distancing but scheduled 90 appointments over two days. Meyer Hatchery in Polk, Ohio says spring is always busy, but March revenues doubled from last year.