Impact of coronavirus on poultry breeders

Ducks 18-6-20 SM Farm

Alan Forbes

What strange times we are living in. With the children off school things have been hectic.

No poultry or agriculture shows to go to, the best part of the whole year that we as a family look forward to.

The one upside to this all is the children have seen more of what has been going on from incubation to going into the hatcher and, finally, the new chicks being born.

As a breeder it has left me more time to concentrate on breeding instead of having to get birds ready for shows.

I have also enjoyed entering the Virtual Show that Nikki Heath and her team have organised.

We had success with one of our girls who won Best of Breed rosette sponsored by the Serama Club of Great Britain. This one had also been successful gaining second place at the Ulster Federation.

Norman Colhoun

Lockdown has impacted me in several ways. I used to sell my excess eggs to a restaurant and a car wash sold them as well.

Both the restaurant and the car wash have closed. I have put an honesty box up at the car wash and still sell eggs from there.

The extra eggs are going free to a local care home for the staff and a man who is delivering food to the vulnerable in the area. This doesn’t pay for the feed, but at least they are getting used.

I mainly keep the birds for feathers to tie fishing flies. Most of my sales are over the internet. I have been building up a fair bit of trade over the past six or seven years. This year the orders have been coming in thick and fast.

The result is likely to be me sold out of most stuff before the end of the summer. That seems to be a combination of more people getting to know about me and a lot of people stuck at home tying flies.

It is a lot more relaxing when it is spread throughout the year, but can’t really complain.

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