A chicken expert who built a cult following on the internet has started a business after the success of a book on keeping the birds.
Mark Burrows, known on social media as the ‘Chook King’, has just opened his shop Chicken House Poultry which he runs with his wife Sharon in Stickney.
The couple, who have kept chickens for more than 25 years – started out with just six – and now have about 80.
They started by selling their eggs by the roadside and say that setting up their business was ‘a real labour of love’.
Their Facebook group gained more than 9,000 fans - affectionately called ‘Chook-a-holics’ – who kept the pair busy seeking advice on poultry problems and ailments.
“Many asked us if we sold chickens, as they wanted to purchase them from reputable dealers to keep as family pets or for eggs,” said Mark.
“At this time we only sold chickens on a part-time, ad hoc basis, but due to the success of the book and our fans wanting to be able to get everything they needed at once, we started thinking seriously about how we could offer this service.”
It was through the huge response on Facebook that inspired Mark to publish his book ‘So You Want To Start Keeping Chickens?’.
Such was its success, it topped the Amazon bestsellers list a month after its release, gained a clutch of five-star reviews, and remained number one on Amazon Kindle in five categories for eight months.
And just as their success on Facebook inspired the book, so the book’s success has inspired their new business.
The couple now sell fully-vaccinated hybrid chickens, along with everything you could need to keep them.
“We plan to offer free lifetime support, help and advice for our customers for the lifetime of their chickens,” said Mark.
“This is very useful and reassuring for beginners so they can buy safe in the knowledge that they will be well looked after in the event of any problems arising.”
For details visit www.chickenhousepoultry.com