Hen sales boom in France during confinement

Farmers in France report a boom in sales of hens during the last two months as many people adopted or bought them during the confinement period.

29 May 2020

A farm in Seine-Maritime, Ferme de Beaumont which sells and usually delivers chickens to customers within 24 hours told Connexion that the interest in chickens has grown despite the fact that its deliveries have been suspended.

Its communications manager, Jessica Salamouni said: “There is a big interest in chickens which is usual at this time of the year. It is spring and people adopt more at this season but we can see that interest is growing and is greater than it was last year.

“With the confinement and the health crisis, people are looking for local products, and having their own chickens is a solution.”

Shortage of eggs in supermarkets during confinement in France has also encouraged some people to buy hens.

Demand has been so high that the farm could not respond to everyone, especially as deliveries were suspended and only customers living nearby could come in person to collect.

A breeder in Tarn-et-Garonne told France Bleu that he had “sold 10,000 hens in two months, compared with the usual 6,000 to 7,000 at the same period.”

Another chicken breeder in Haute-Garonne has noticed 40% new customers and estimates the increase in his turnover of “20 to 30% over the last eight weeks”, reports Franceinfo.

This boom is not new, according to the French federation of poultry, Fédération française de la volaille. President of the federation, Jean-Claude Périquet said: “The boom for laying hens dates back a few years but during the confinement there has been a new rise in sales as people were trying to stay busy.”

President of the Poule’s club, Isabelle Gloriaux who also breeds chickens told Connexion: “It has been a trend for a few years now but the confinement has created more demand, maybe because people wanted to have eggs, but breeding a chicken is more complicated than what it seems.

“A hen is not a pet and it doesn’t lay eggs every day, contrary to what people think. You need to take care of it, leave it space, and help it if it gets sick.”

Mrs Gloriaux added: “We know that people abandon chickens because they realise they cannot take care of them. They leave them on a road or in woods. Now there is a risk of more abandonment as more people bought and might leave them as they return to work or realise they cannot take care of them properly.

“Some people give them away or resell them too.”

There were notably several ads found on Leboncoin of people selling their chickens after confinement.

On the facebook page of the Poule’s club, a member of the page shared an ad of someone saying “I bought them for the confinement, now I'm (selling) them to return to work.”

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