Chicken sales soar during COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With so many people at home during the pandemic, there’s a growing trend people are flocking to chickens. Feed stores around Albuquerque said they’re seeing chick sales soar during the COVID-19 pandemic. Horsemen’s Feed and Supply is sold out of chickens until May 20. Owner, Jim Owens, said he’s never seen demand like this.

“It’s nuts. That’s all you can say. I mean the phone rings constantly. I’d say half of the calls every day are people calling trying to buy chicks,” he said. “We’ve never seen anything like this.”

Quality Baits and Pond Fish said it sold about 2,000 chicks in the last two weeks. Miller’s Feed and Supply said its seen an uptick in chick sales since the governor’s stay-at-home order was put in place. The store is sold out of the baby birds until May 13. Melissa Fronk of Albuquerque recently bought chicks and said now is a perfect time.

“I’ve wanted chicks for a while but now since we have more time and we’re home, and my 7-year-old is home, it just made sense to go ahead and do it now,” Fronk said.

She said it was a bit challenging getting chicks during all the demand. Since chicken coops were all sold out in the town, she had to drive to Edgewood for one. For Fronk, raising the birds is a good learning experience for her children. Owens said most of his costumers are getting chicks now as something for kids to do while at home, or as an insurance policy for eggs if the pandemic worsens down the line.

Owens said they’ve called three hatcheries for more chicks but said the demand is making them fall behind. According to the City of Albuquerque’s website, the poultry limit per household is 15 and no household can have more than one rooster.

New Mexico Coronavirus Resource Guide

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