Charlie’s Feathered Friends

Charlie's feathered friends

‘Urban Chicken Specialist’ Charlie Ganly offers those living in a city environment the chance to connect with their pastoral roots by providing, not just the chickens, but everything required to keep them.
Charlie’s love of animals was nurtured early. At the age of nine, he acquired his first chickens and began selling the eggs to his neighbours.

In 2000, Charlie’s world was turned upside down when he and his wife separated. Depression overtook him and he found himself struggling to cope with his job as an industrial paint salesman, becoming physically ill as a result.

When he purchased three chickens and built a coop in his back garden, he found this had a hugely positive effect on his state of mind. “I was sitting in my garden one summer evening, watching the chickens, and I realised life was actually pretty good,” Charlie tells NewsFour.

Charlie’s friend Daphne Wynne, pictured above, asked him if he could sell her some chickens. “I had very little money at the time so he used stuff I had in my shed and made a chicken run and coop,” Daphne says.
At Daphne’s suggestion, Charlie decided to turn his enthusiasm for chickens into a business. Now he has several customers across Dublin and is currently installing a fully-functional chicken farm in Wesley College as part of their Pastoral Care initiative. Charlie hopes to install similar mini eco-systems in other schools.
Sheena Eustace, of the Donnybrook Therapy Centre agrees that keeping animals can have a therapeutic effect. “It gives us a direct link to nature,” she tells NewsFour. “There’s something idyllic about the idea of caring for animals. Even if you haven’t grown up around them, you probably had storybooks as a child which featured animals.”

Sheena believes that seeing a direct result of your care, the laying of eggs for example, is a hugely rewarding experience.
“They’re really glorified pets and the eggs are a bonus,” Daphne says. “They’ve all got their own personalities and they’re so funny. If you’ve seen the film Chicken Run that’s exactly what they’re like.”
Daphne calls her back garden “less than average sized” and claims chickens are “much easier to keep than cats and dogs”, especially with the service Charlie provides. A 12-hour helpline is serviced by Charlie, who can help with any issues that may arise. According to Daphne, Charlie makes keeping chickens a very comfortable thing to do.

For more information you can email Charlie Ganly at

By Eric Hillis