One old classic is gaining popularity in back gardens
A DESIRE to get back to basics could be driving people to produce their own food at home.
At least that's one theory, as hardware store owner Mark Wells attempted to shed light on a DIY trend he'd observed.
The Fernvale Mitre 10 owner said he'd noticed a change in purchasing patterns in the past few years, with more people buying to accommodate chickens and vegetable gardens on their properties.
Mr Wells said the increase in sales for items in those areas was a documented trend in his store.
"We see people in all the time buying bits of timber and wire and stuff for chook houses and nesting boxes and chook pens,” he said.
"It's a documented trend that's been going on in urban areas and the western area is no different.”
He said his customers had anywhere between 2 and 30 chickens and that the varieties were not limited to the common laying hen, with reports of exotic game birds and bantams making themselves a part of families across the region.
"It's a much bigger industry than one really recognises,” he said.
"I think it's changed in the last 10 years and just continues to go.”
He said he also noticed an increase in the number of people buying supplies to start their own vegetable gardens.
"In previous generations, everybody had a chook house and a veggie garden in the backyard,” he said.
"I think supermarkets kind of killed all that.”
He said the scenario resembled less of a trend and more of a tradition that skipped a generation.
"Once people become are of how some of their food is produced, they're like 'you know what? I'm not so keen on battery hens' or 'I want to do my piece to make a difference so I'll have a few chooks and they can roam free in the backyard and have a nice life and produce eggs for me',” he said.
"Chooks are an easy animal to have around. They don't make much mess and they don't smell and they're not offensive to neighbours.”