Bet you never thought you would see the day when chickens started sporting beanies and jumpers – but believe it or not, that’s the latest trend in poultry fashion.
Chicken farmer Max Cosgrove, 11, is the brains behind the trend, having created a unique range of Cheanies (beanies for chickens) and Chumpers (jumpers for chickens), and they have taken the world by storm!
After getting into chicken breeding at only eight years of age, Max couldn’t get enough of it. Fast-forward three years, he is hatching 30 chicks a week and selling around 10 chickens from the farm, and many more, at the local markets.
Some people even drive up to eight hours just to buy one of his chickens.
But, the young entrepreneur revealed that the idea for the range of chicken clothing came to him one chilly winter’s day.
‘I was wearing a beanie one day and said to Mum: “Oh, we should make a beanie for a chicken,” but Mum couldn’t knit so we asked Grandma to make one,’ he tells New Idea.
‘As a bit of a joke we put it on my Facebook page and the next morning we had lots of orders, and now it’s had over a half a million views.’
Max had orders coming in from every corner of Australia – and even Korea!
Wrangling his nan (who he pays in kisses and cuddles) and his aunt (who he just pays) to knit the products, Max has sold over a hundred Cheanies and Chumpers.
‘The Chumpers are great for the girls who are moulting, but the Cheanies were just a bit of fun,’ he shares.
‘People love their chickens and love to dress them up! It’s all just some fun!’
But, it doesn’t end there, Max is already planning the next chicken fashion trend.
‘Now it’s coming into warmer weather, I’m about to release the summer clothing,’ he reveals.
‘It’s a Chickini! It’s a bikini for a chicken and I am making them. I got some sewing lessons from a local lady and now I know what I’m doing!’
While, it is all good fun, Max is also putting his chicken clothing success towards a cause close to his heart.
Last October, his mum Belinda was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy and chemotherapy, and is currently taking chemo tablets.
The young entrepreneur has vowed to donate a portion of the sales for every Chickini sold to Breast Cancer Australia.
While the family have been through some very stressful times since Belinda’s diagnosis, Max’s proud parents were thrilled to see their son appear on Little Big Shots.
‘My mum and dad will be in the audience,’ gushes Max. ‘The camera was on them the whole time too! Mum didn’t have much hair because she had just finished chemo for breast cancer, but I think she still looked beautiful.’
While Max is generously donating a portion of his sales to charity, he already knows exactly what he wants to do with the rest of his pocket money.
‘Some of the money goes back into grain for the chickens, but I like to save it, and I have my eye on a house down the road,’ he says. ‘There are still people living in it, so hopefully by the time I can afford it, it will be up for sale!’
Given his side business selling mangoes and his plans to go into cattle sales, Max is sure to have the money for his dreamhouse in no time.
‘I already own five head of cattle, so I would like to expand that a bit,’ he says.
‘But for the moment, chickens are keeping me really busy!’
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