Two little girl feeding chickens

A Q&A with the founder of City Chooks

We chat to Brisbane-based Ingrid Dimock about her two successful online businesses’ selling chooks and bees to urbanites.

You started City Chicks in 2007. How did you come up with the idea to start a business selling chooks to people living in urban areas? I was looking for something that was a fun and involved teaching people about sustainable practices around poultry keeping. I was hoping for a sound business that would give me a day’s work a week. Boy, did that change quickly — from one day to five days a week within three months!

Why was it important to you to improve the process of buying chickens? The important part was the personal service aspect, in that clients could find out the difference between breeds, health products, feed types and general questions in a relaxed environment where no one is chasing them out the door, as clients had told me they had experienced. Our core business is chickens and we know almost everything there is to know about them. We are also available on mobile for any urgent issues. People like that level of personal relationship, so we’ve become a trusted brand.

Do you breed and raise your chickens yourself? Yes, we have our own hatchery that supplies our Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Sydney and Melbourne stores.

How do you make sure your chickens have a good life before you sell them on? They are all hand-raised and kept in very clean pens and the older girls are allowed to free range in the afternoons. Families, when they visit us, can walk through any of the pens and cuddle the chickens. The chickens become very tame and families get to mingle directly with the birds they are going to take home as their new family pets.

How many breeds of chickens do you stock? Approximately 30 and that figure is growing each year.

Which breed is your favourite and why? The frizzle pekins because they look like toilet brushes zapped by electricity! Very soft, cuddly and the size of a soccer ball: the quintessential lap chook.

You run another business as well, My City Garden, which you set up in 2009. Tell us about that. My City Garden is about encouraging families to get involved with their backyards and promote growing. Our main component of this business so far is the native bee hives, which we send from Cairns to Sydney. That is changing as we expand the range of products on offer. We have moved into growing mushrooms, making cheese, preserving foods, promoting beneficial insects and a lot of other fun things.

Why would people need to buy in bees? Definitely for pollination, which is when bees transfer pollen from plant to plant to allow fruiting to occur. Without these little pollinators, the world would not be able to produce fruits and vegetables. So they are pretty important. The native bees also produce small amounts of delicious honey, which is a bonus.

What happens, at your end, in the space of time between when I send you an order and when I receive my chooks or bees? Craziness! We receive an order, check the pens, catch the chickens and then put a band on one of their legs to show they are sold. We sell 100 chickens a week through our Brisbane store, so the banding is essential. The bees are split to make a new hive and these little guys are then locked in their hive until ready to go by courier.

How did you get people interested in your chickens and bees starting out? Through word of mouth and internet searching, basically. There are very few people doing what we do, so we tend to come up as a popular search item.

Both of your businesses focus on bringing elements of the country into the city. Why is that? That is the ethos of what we stand for: getting families back to basics, away from the TV and out in the fresh air producing their own food. Our mantra focuses on producing good food, good air and good water, the focus of our next enterprise.

What’s next on the agenda for your two businesses? We are about to launch a new business called The Healthy Home which will focus on offering products for pure air, pure water and pure food. We are really excited about this next step as the purity of water and air is a concern for our family and I am sure other families will be interested in these, too.

For more details, visit


The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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