The Purple Chicken flock has gone into hibernation.
The Albury cafe program for young people with disabilities is yet another casualty of the coronavirus crisis, founder Jen Tait has confirmed.
And while her chickens are feeling a little blue as they struggle with the isolation of social distancing, she is determined to hatch an even bigger and better plan for their return.
Because the program had been underway for less than 12 months, there was "limited" government support during the temporary shutdown, according to Ms Tait.
Staff were put on as casuals to allow them flexibility to meet the needs of their own children with disabilities.
And, because of the nature of the skills they were learning and kitchen environment, it was impossible for participants to maintain safe social distancing requirements, she explained.
The social isolation is the hardest part.Jen Tait
Ms Tait said her flock was definitely feeling the effects of the coronavirus in terms of their mental wellbeing.
"The social isolation is the hardest part," she said.
"The young people love Purple Chicken and I've been getting messages asking 'When can we come back?' which is heart-breaking."
In addition some young people have lost all their services "if they don't have the (NDIS) budget for one to one support".
"That's a huge burden on families and it's very challenging for everyone."
Ms Tait and head chef Tracey Kellock have been brainstorming ways to keep "these terrific young adults" engaged and finding ways to help them spread their wings.
A cookbook is already taking flight - the young people are being encouraged to keep up their cooking at home and to trial recipe ideas for inclusion in the book.
"We will select 30 recipes, which will each feature a picture of the young person, and the brief is it needs to be inexpensive, simple (4 or 5 ingredients), nutritious and tasty," Ms Tait explained.
"It will be a resource for our young people and others to use around the world."
Purple Chicken participants are also posting photos of themselves cooking at home through their own social group on Facebook.
"Tracey did a video for them the other day with all the steps of a recipe to try at home - we're really working hard to keep them engaged and connected," Ms Tait said.
"The landscape will be very different in hospitality after this as there will be so many people competing for positions."
To that end Ms Tait is exploring other options for her flock, including re-modelling the program to inclue the possibility of traineeships to ensure the young people can be "competitive in the market".
"I'm in it for the long haul and I'm going to fight to make this work," said a determined Ms Tait.
"It's not a job for me - it's my mission in life."