Insight & Analysis

You must be clucking mad!

Published: Nov 2019

A man in New Zealand started a viral campaign to rehome 1,000 hens after bidding on what he thought would be just two chickens, only to realise after he won the auction that it was quite a few more.

Bunch of chickens in a field during sunset

For the bargain price of NZ$1.50 (approx. US$1), Steve Morrow from Hamilton has acquired 1,000 hens from a small free-range egg farm that was closing down. The ‘urgent sale’ ad on auction selling site, Trade Me, advertised “one 1,000” birds. Morrow claims that there was confusion on his part as he thought that the highest bidder would get to take as many birds as they liked, and the rest would continue to be auctioned off.

The seller, Matthew Blomfield, wants to ensure Morrow is given credit for his perseverance, however. “He didn’t just make a mistake and not follow through,” he said in an interview with Stuff. But rather he posted advertisements online for people to rehome the hens, and contacted Animal Sanctuary, a New Zealand-based animal refuge, to interview and vet the prospective new owners to ensure they end up in good homes.

Animal Sanctuary has described Morrow as an “amazing man” and so far, more than 700 birds have prospective homes lined up. Meanwhile, Morrow plans to keep 20 of the hens himself.

A happy ending and a lesson in always thoroughly reading the description when buying something online, isn’t it?

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