A Bay of Plenty firm selling rodent proof backyard chicken feeders says sales in Australia are sky rocketing.
Mark Kirkham owns Grampa's Feeders - a business he and his father set up over 25 years ago.
He said his father was tired of sparrows, rats and mice eating valuable chicken feed so he spent several years perfecting the design of an automatic feeder.
It was never intended to be a commercial venture, but it slowly became a hugely successful home-grown business, with retailers selling the feeders in Britain, the USA and Australia.
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Now Kirkham says after a marketing push in Australia co-inciding with Covid-19, sales are "going bonkers."
People appear to be looking at ways to be self sufficient, running chickens and growing vegetables.
"In fact I have heard in Australia it is impossible to buy chickens at present. They have run out," he said.
"There are 10 to 12 feeders being sold a day."
It is a pattern Kirkham also saw during the global financial crisis in 2008 when self sufficiency became a popular way to save money. Back then, sales of Grampa's Feeders were bringing in $10,000 a week.
Meanwhile, Kirkham says New Zealand sales have virtually stopped because there is no distribution network.
He believed that would change when the alert level 4 lockdown was over and normal sales outlets reopened.
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