The demand for chicks is especially high at the moment, reports Vísir.
The high demand has led to some business opportunities, with one chicken farmer in South Iceland filling his incubators with eggs and distributing the chicks across Iceland.
Ragnar Sigurjónsson, a farmer in the Flóahreppur district, raises so-called “Papar” chickens, which he says are descended from the semi-historical Irish monks who may have settled Iceland’s outlying islands before Norse settlement.
These chickens, he stated to Vísir, are also very productive at laying eggs, laying up to 170 to 180 a year.
Ragnar has incubators that are constantly full of eggs to meet the high demand for newly hatched chicks.
“There is just so much demand,” he stated to Vísir. “I’ve had two machines running at once. People are always asking for chicks. Right now, I have a hatchery where about half of them are going to a preschool in Kópavogur.”
Some Icelandic preschools keep hens as a way to reduce food waste. The hens are fed cafeteria leftovers and provide eggs for the children and families who volunteer to take care of them.
According to Ragnar, the unusually high demand for chickens can be attributed to a growing interest in raising chickens in backyards. “They are nice animals to have around,” Ragnar stated. “People want to have three, four or five chickens in their garden and get fresh eggs.”