As the local food movement spreads across America, community gardens and farms have sprung up in urban and suburban communities throughout the United States. Individuals and families lacking private green space can rent a garden or volunteer to farm a plot of land in exchange for fresh, locally grown vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs. Apparently, the farming experience doesn’t end there.
According to an article in the New York Times, several backyard-chicken rental businesses have cropped up in states across the country and have joined what many have referred to as the “sharing economy.” One of these businesses, Rent the Chicken, was launched earlier this year in western Pennsylvania by Phil and Jenn Tompkins. For $350, Rent the Chicken will deliver a pair of egg-laying hens, a coup, a supply of food, and a water dish to customers for a rental period typically lasting from May through November.
Another, Rent-A-Chicken in Traverse City, Michigan, was founded in 2009 to help smooth the transition from amateur chicken owner to professional. The founders of the company saw that many new to chicken-rearing were accidentally buying rooster chicks or jumped in before understanding what the hobby entails.
Although a summerlong rental will likely cost an individual more than simply building a coop and buying a pair of chicks from a feed store, the owners of these company’s agree that the experience and knowledge gained through renting is invaluable. Despite the large volume of information on the subject out there, they’ve found that customers benefit the most from having someone there to answer their questions and talk them through the process. So what happens once the rental period ends? Customers have the option of purchasing the chickens for about $20 apiece. Unless of course they chicken out.
Find more information on chicken rentals in “Holy Flock! You Can Rent Chickens??”