If you like the idea of having fresh eggs straight from the backyard, but aren’t sure if you’re ready to commit, RentTheChicken.com lets you rent some chickens!
Here’s how they pitch their service:
Thought of Raising Backyard Chickens? Every spring, thousands of chickens are sold at local farm supply stores. Often these chickens die before they are ready to start laying eggs (16-30 weeks). Children quickly realize that chickens are not as fun as the Xbox and parents find out that chickens cannot be house broken! The costs quickly start becoming more and more, then chickens are “sent to the farm”. Other people think about chickens but think they don’t have the space, worry about regulations, or just don’t know what they need. Do you build or buy a coop? Do you buy peeps? How do you raise an egg-laying hen if you buy a peep? Did someone tell you about a heat lamp? It can all be overwhelming and we take the guesswork out of all of the questions by offering a portable coop, the food & supplies, and the egg-laying hens!
RentTheChicken.com is based in Pennsylvania and only rents during warmer months, May until November. But it says on their site you can start in September if you’re interested in giving it a try.
I think this is another part of the sharing economy, which favors access over ownership. Like tool libraries or car sharing services, you don’t necessarily need to OWN something if what you’re really after is simply access to it.
So if you want fresh eggs, does it matter if they’re your chickens or if you’re renting them? Either way, the eggs (and chicken shenanigans, fertilizer, etc.) are yours to enjoy. By renting, you won’t care for the chickens over the winter or worry about what to do if one is sick. There’s certainly value in knowing those skills and being ready for any situation, but this model of renting provides an option for people who would prefer an easier way to get started and to see if it’s right for them. This also keeps is safer for the animals, so if it doesn’t work out for the family, the animals aren’t abandoned – they are returned safely to the business.
Information via RentTheChicken.com lets you practice raising backyard chickens : TreeHugger.
P.S. It will be fun to watch similar businessess start around the country in local communities. Possibly a new business idea for budding entrepreneurs?