Redlands Produce sells out of chickens as locals rush to sure up food supplies during coronavirus pandemic

THORNLANDS business Redlands Produce endured a busy few weeks during the height of the coronavirus crisis, selling out of chickens and garden products as locals prioritised food security during lockdown.

BIG BIRD: Redlands Produce owner Kristian Foxover was working flat out during the coronavirus pandemic. Chickens were in high demand. He has only roosters left. Photo: Jordan Crick

BIG BIRD: Redlands Produce owner Kristian Foxover was working flat out during the coronavirus pandemic. Chickens were in high demand. He has only roosters left. Photo: Jordan Crick

Owner Kristian Foxover said he had sold about 700 chickens since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, while things like vegetable seeds and manure were also flying off the shelves.

The surge in sales began in March and only now is trade beginning to return to normal, although since the last delivery the shop has again sold out of chickens.

"On the Wednesday coronavirus hit, we had all of these people come in and we completely sold out of chickens," Mr Foxover said.

"We have a lot of pure bred chickens and they vary between $65 and $85. We sold out of them in the next 24 hours.

"It was unbelievable. Normally people are slow to buy the really expensive chickens but people just didn't care. If it was a female, they'd but it."

Mr Foxover put the increase in chicken and vegetable seed sales down to people wanting to be more self sufficient during the crisis.

"I think maybe it has also been about people wanting to support smaller businesses," he said.

"Every customer coming in would be commenting and asking how we were. I think they really were trying to support us."

BIRDS WANTED: Redlands Produce owner Kristian Foxover poses with one of his prized roosters. Photo: Jordan Crick

BIRDS WANTED: Redlands Produce owner Kristian Foxover poses with one of his prized roosters. Photo: Jordan Crick

The surge in sales came as no surprise to Bowman MP Andrew Laming who, with his family, owns a menagerie of pets.

"Maslows hierarchy of needs of food and shelter offer us a sense of purpose and the ability to nurture during lockdown," he said.

Hand-raised birds like parrots were also sold out as the community looked to buy a pet to support them during trying times.

Mr Foxover said the business had sold out of chickens in the past but not to the extremes seen in recent months.

"In the first six weeks, we would have been getting close to 30 phone calls a day looking for chickens," he said.

"At night my phone would be buzzing and I would wake up in the morning and have another 10 messages (on Facebook) from people asking for chickens."

The busy period saw revenue figures soar but it proved a stressful time for Mr Foxover and his staff.

"I have said to everyone I have never worked so hard," he said.

"It is the busiest and most stressful time I have worked in my entire life and 18 years of owning a shop."

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