Rent the Chicken gives aspiring backyard farmers a chance to give the coop a season-long test run before making the commitment.
The past several years have seen a rise in backyard farming, and specifically in chicken raising. The allure is obvious; there is a rustic appeal to the idea of waking up to fresh eggs every morning, knowing that they’re natural and straight from your garden. But many amateur farmers don’t understand the full obligations of chicken ownership before taking the plunge, and the birds wind up dying from neglect, or are sent to animal shelters.
Rent the Chicken has come up with a solution. The Pennsylvania-based startup provides these amateur farmers with egg-laying hens and all of the necessary supplies for a successful season of chicken raising, without the commitment. The feathered friends come with a portable coop, enough feed for the entire rental period, food and water dishes, and instructions for care.
The founding husband-wife team, ‘Homestead’ Phil and Jenn, will schedule a time to set up the outfit and make sure that the renters know everything they need to in order to keep the chickens happy. The hens, which come in pairs for company, start laying eggs within two days, and should produce eight to fourteen eggs per week. And according to the founders, these aren’t just any eggs — “they have /3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fats, and 2 times more omega 3 fatty acids than store bought eggs.”
Chicken rental season coincides with the highest egg-production period, from May until November, when Phil and Jenn pick up the poultry to house them for the winter. Happy renters can then either rent for another season, or purchase the chickens.