Chickens Rule Roost As Customers Flock To Garden Centres

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By Cara Sulieman

A SCOTS garden centre is stocking live hens for sale – after a six week trial saw them flying out the door.

Gardening giants Dobbies were left cock a hoop after more than 1000 hens were picked up by customers in little over a month.

And demand for the egg laying birds was so high they are now offering five different breed across selected stores.

Starting at £25, the birds allow wannabe farmers the chance to produce their own eggs for the kitchen table.

The company, who’s HQ is based Lasswade near Edinburgh, also reported a huge surge in grow your own crops with fruit and vegetable plant sales increasing by 27 per cent in May alone.

Salad, vegetables, herbs, soft fruit and fruit trees are proving popular as customers transform their back gardens into miniature farms.

Chicken coops are also doing roaring trade, with the item entering the top 20 bestselling list at Dobbies.

Susan MacDonald, buying director at Dobbies Garden Centres said: “Over the past two years, more and more Brits have started growing their own fruit and vegetables and the next step in the consumer return to The Good Life seems to be growing their own eggs.

“Families definitely seem to be turning their back gardens into cocoons for self-sufficiency.

“We have responded to the surge in demand for Grow Your Own by complimenting new product with demonstrations and workshops to ensure our customers, our local communities and schools have everything they need to get started.

“We also have our Little Seedlings Club to encourage children and schools to grow their own.

“Grow Your Own provides people with real value for money in growing their own food while building on the rise of environmental consciousness.”

With five breeds of hens available at the store, customers can get all the advice they need from Dobbies before taking their new pets home.

Starting at £25 a chicken, Isa Brown Hens are proving the most popular and can be bought in the Aberdeen, Dundee, Dunfermline, Perth, Sandyholm, Stirling and Melville shops.

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