Things aren't too great financially at Chris's house, and Dad has the bright idea that having a few chooks would be sound economy. So the whole family works together to build a terrific chook-house, and Dad, Chris and older brother Max go to a chook farm and buy ten ex-battery hens. The hens must keep producing eggs, Dad says, or they'll get the chop. There should be ten eggs to gather every day. Chris forms a special attachment to one of the hens, Happy Harry. When the number of eggs dwindles to nine, and it's clear that Happy Harry is no longer laying, he manages to conceal this from Dad by buying eggs at the shop. None of this is easy for Chris, because he is what Max rudely calls a 'retard'. But when Chris's plans come unstuck, and Happy Harry really is about to get the chop, Max lends a hand too.