100-year-old Renfrow Hardware in the business of selling chicks
Posted on 30 Apr 2012 by Lauren Senkow
Renfrow Hardware in downtown Matthews has been a general store since the 1900’s selling groceries, fertilizer, plants and hardware. It’s found a huge new interest, however, in the selling of baby chicks.
“We have been purchasing and selling baby chicks for the past 25 years now, but saw a grow in popularity in the last two years, said store owner David Blackley. “Almost every Friday we have an order arrive of chicks. 8 a.m. there is a line wrapped down the block for the chicks are purchased at first come, first serve basis. Last week, we went through 100 chicks in 17 minutes and sold out!”
So why all of a sudden such a demand for baby chicks?
“I just want the chicks for the eggs,” said Mark Anthony, 52, of Matthews. “The eggs taste better and are cheaper than purchasing them at the store. I plan to raise a flock one day, because it is fun to watch them grow.”
Michelle Lindsey, another Matthews neighbor, was at Renfrow’s for chicks with her three daughters. “This is our first time purchasing chicks and I told the girls we can start out with three.” So she not only needed chicks but also proper supplies in raising the chicks.
Blackley suggested a few necessities for Lindsey and others interested in making backyard chickens a new hobby: “A heat source to keep the chicks warm, water and feeder designed for chicks so they wont drown in any water bowl, a container which cycles heat on one side and shade on the other, and lastly chick feed for the first five months.”
Renfrow’s purchases the chicks from a well-reputed hatchery, Ideal Hatchery, that is based out of Camden, Texas. Ninety-eight percent of the chicks are females so they can lay. Selling at $3.50 a piece, the most popular type of chick they bring in are the “Rhode-Island Red.”
A rise in popularity of purchasing and raising chicks have increased in the last two years. This past year at Renfrow however, has been the busiest. Blackley says he has seen a majority of children coming to raise the chicks as another ‘family pet’ however, most farmers are raising the chicks to lay eggs.