Among the trends at Global Pet Expo that caught my attention was the abundance of chicken products. Yes, chicken products. City folks have embraced raising chickens and the pet industry has noticed. It seemed like every aisle had at least one vendor displaying products for people who keep chickens. More than one exhibitor had live chickens in their booths.
The chicken products included lots of hen houses and outdoor enclosures, feeders and waterers and varieties of feed. There were other more outside-the-coop products as well. Among them were the Birdy Booty, a device to protect injured feet and the Birdy Bra, which protects a chicken’s crop from a number of different ailments (and can help with parrots that pluck themselves). Both of these items are from Crazy K Farm, a manufacturer of chicken and other bird products and the makers of the award-winning Kitty Holster cat harness. Crazy K Farm is a social venture who donates a portion of their profits to their own animal sanctuary.
We took notice of this trend when planning our editorial calendar a few months back. In this issue, bird columnist Erik Martin discusses a number of products for poultry keeping and ways to incorporate them into your store. In some areas of the country, many pet owners are becoming small-scale poultry farmers. While these birds provide eggs (and sometimes meat), they are often still regarded as pets. To the keepers, it makes a lot of sense to get their dog leashes and their chicken feed at the same place.
Knowing if your store should stock poultry products or not requires you do a little homework. Ask your customers if they have chickens or if their neighbors do. Google search terms relating to poultry and your town or county to see if there is an urban poultry group or similar organization. If raising chickens is becoming popular in your area, you may want to get your beak wet.
There were lots of other product trends that caught the Pet Age staff’s collective eye at Global and we’ll be bringing those to you in upcoming issues, our newsletter and on our website.