You can now rent chickens, thanks to services that helps new farmers dip their toes into the farmstead game without putting the cart before the…chicken. Like ’em? Keep ’em! Not so much? No harm, no fowl. Just snowy-white eggs with buttery tangerine-colored yolks — enough to even share with your neighbors. Get ready to cross a major accomplishment off your culinary bucket list.
Rent-The-Chicken is one of a handful of companies that works with local farms all over the country to arrange rentals of young laying hens and coops to homeowners looking to experience these productive new pets. Included in the rental is springtime delivery, setup, and pick-up of the contents after the season (you probably don’t want the hassle of chilly chickens or hungry predators in the winter), four laying hens, a deluxe chicken coop that can be moved around, food and water dishes and 100 pounds of feed, plus a guidebook and additional support as needed. That’s 28 premium-quality eggs a week, from spring til mid-autumn.
The reviews are very encouraging: those who have always dreamed of raising chickens but didn’t have the financial wherewithal or total commitment to invest in a full setup are loving being part-time chicken farmers. Customers are typically able to choose between breeds depending on their needs, and even welcome their favorite hens back after the cold season. Australorps are friendly with people and reliable layers of large eggs, for example. Easter Eggers lay light pastel-colored eggs sure to be a hit with kids and Sussex chickens are handy, voracious garden pest-eaters.
Ensure that your local zoning laws allow for a chicken coop before making any moves, but start looking forward to those gentle clucks and velvety golden yolks now.