Egg-actly what is crazy about keeping hens? That is exactly what a rational person would do in these tough times when worthless paper dollars may not be able to buy very much in the way of food to eat. Hey- why stop at hens? What about cows? That way you get some milk, cream, cheese and butter to go along with your eggs!
Spreading new wings: 700,000 have flocked to join the craze for hen-keeping
Last updated at 2:07 PM on 1st August 2011
The biggest revival in hen- keeping since the Second World War is under way in Britain.
Around 700,000 of us now keep hens, saving money in tough times by having our own supply of eggs. The figure from the British Hen Welfare Trust is a rise of 80 per cent in three years.
The boom in grow-your-own fruit and vegetables has spilled over to keeping hens, which was common in Britain during the war when eggs were rationed.
The practice remained popular for some years afterwards.
With the credit crunch still biting, the fun of keeping hens and the prospect of having freshly laid eggs for breakfast by simply popping out to the garden has become more appealing.
Supermarkets are meeting the rising demand for chicken coops by selling their own ranges from £140. At Tesco sales of coops have increased by 180 per cent in the past three years.
And a leading supplier of chicken coops, West Yorkshire-based Navigation Distribution, said sales have more than doubled nationwide in the same period.
Brian Mott, director of dried pet food supplier Nature’s Grub, said: ‘It would appear that we are seeing a return to 50 years ago when it was quite usual to keep half-a-dozen chickens in the backyard.
‘Over the past few years, more and more Britons have started growing their own fruit and vegetables and the next step in the consumer return to “the good life” seems to be having their own eggs.’