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Would You Rent A Chicken?

Would You Rent A Chicken?

Well, this is pretty clever. If you’re enticed by the idea of having fresh eggs straight from the backyard, but are not 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 can not 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 guess work 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.

What I love about this idea is that it lowers the threshold to entry for people that are intrigued by the idea of having chickens, but maybe aren’t as comfortable just starting from scratch and making mistakes. You’re raising living animals, after all, so it is understandable that a lot of people would be hesitant to jump right in.

Also, I’ve noted the promising trend 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 that thing.

So if you want fresh eggs, does it matter if they are your chickens or if you’re renting them? Either way, the eggs are yours to enjoy. By renting, you aren’t going to need to 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 allows the provides an option for people that would prefer an easier way to get started.

What do you think of this idea? Do you raise your own chickens? Let us know!
I have no doubt we’ll be seeing similar services popping up across the country soon, if they haven’t already.

Related
Risks & Benefits of Backyard Chickens
Why Are Eggs Linked to Cancer Progression?
Cute Baby Chicks (Slideshow)

Read more: Food, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, , , ,

By Chris Tackett, from Treehugger

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Kara, selected from TreeHugger

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, planetgreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.

121 comments

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7:09AM PDT on Sep 18, 2013

My only concern is how the poor Chickens would be treated. People tend to be less concerned about stuff when it it not really theirs. And animals are living thins not a painting, they have feeling and need to be protected. Renting Chickens is a very bad idea.

7:18PM PDT on Sep 15, 2013

I personally am in two minds about this. On one hand I think it could be a great idea if a newbie is interested in keeping chickens. On the other hand I hate the idea of animals for rent and also worry about abuse and neglect.

4:51PM PDT on Sep 15, 2013

I would, if I didn't have them already.

3:33PM PDT on Sep 15, 2013

Absolutely not.

1:56AM PDT on Sep 14, 2013

I'm surprised that there are so many people opposed to the idea. There's a "Rentachook" company in Australia that provides chickens & coops for people to rent. I think their main idea is for people to have a 6-week trial to see whether keeping chickens is really going to work for them - it's not cheap, and they provide a lot of support and advice, and I've never heard of any problems with the scheme.

1:33AM PDT on Sep 14, 2013

no

6:47AM PDT on Sep 13, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

12:25AM PDT on Sep 11, 2013

No. I prefer to eat it. :)

4:26AM PDT on Sep 10, 2013

Continued from below: For all concerned, renting would have been the better option, would it not?

4:24AM PDT on Sep 10, 2013

Mixed feelings here. If I were entertaining the idea of keeping chickens, this would be a bloody brilliant way for me to find out if it was a good fit, but I'm a responsible animal lover and would care for them scrupulously and lovingly while they were in my charge. I honestly think the majority of people contemplating keeping chickens are probably the same, but what about those who are not? Of course, I doubt that this is cheap, so that further cuts down on those who are mistakenly thinking they're going to save or make money with eggs. On balance, I think this will probably save more chickens than it will hurt. It's perfect for young people who want to do the right thing but have short attention spans. A 15 year commitment to a dog or a cat who you can housebreak and who'll give you unconditional love is one thing. Commitment to a chicken is a lot more trouble and a lot less rewarding, especially once the egg production goes way down.

I have an artist friend who paints and photographs exotic fowl. They are her muses and her pets, and they are delightful creatures, each with their own personalities, and affectionate, in their own way, but they will shit on the floor when in the house, and occasionally on your lap when having a cuddle. They're not really what most people would consider pet material. The more I think about it, the more I like this idea. Shelters are filling up with backyard chickens abandoned by their hipster owners. For all concerned, renting

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