The chicken people
The first real chicken person I ever met was Mark Goldby. He had a familiar tale to tell: the family moved to the country to live the good life and they wanted a few chickens for fresh eggs.
However, it was particularly important to Mark’s wife Fiona that it was just a few hens and they would always be locked in a coop as she had a chronic phobia of birds. Mark didn’t need telling twice. He had his new flock set up in a coop before they’d moved the furniture into the house.
But it soon became obvious that ‘the girls’ wanted to be free, so they were allowed out of their run to roam around the garden. That was fine when Mark was home, but one day when he wasn’t, poor Fiona spent an hour trapped in her car, terrified, as the chickens surrounded her, curious to know why she wouldn’t get out.
When your husband is as poultry obssessed as Mark quickly became, it turns out it is possible to get over a phobia. Three years later, Fiona and Mark had 20 different heritage breeds, a flock that numbered 300+ and an incubator with a 400-egg hatching capacity. Ten years later, they’re still chicken-mad.
I thought Mark and Fiona were fairly unique, but since then I’ve met so many people who are just as crazy in love with their chickens. Some of them even love roosters! I think my favourites are the ones who had no idea they were chicken people until they got some ‘so we could have eggs’ and then realised the thing they’d been missing all their lives was chickens.
This month we have a fantastic giveaway for the chicken people, so check out pages 67-70. This is also our bumper summer issue which will be on sale throughout December and January, numbering 130 pages. It’s the biggest issue I’ve ever had the joy of putting together and I hope it delivers some great summer reading to you, whether you’re a chicken person or not.
Happy summer, happy new year, and thank you for another year of reading NZ Lifestyle Block.