A New Chicken Rental Service Lets Urbanites Play Farmer

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Are “chicken rentals” the future of urban farming?
Image: rentthechicken.com

Not too long ago I wrote about how raising chickens in the Big Apple was becoming a growing trend among urban dwellers. This normally bucolic practice has become increasingly appealing to city dwellers, but for many, it proves to be far too costly and labor-intensive to raise chickens, and the birds get abandoned. In some cases, animal rescue shelters have even reported chickens being left on their doorstep by people who couldn’t keep up with the demands of proper care.

Most people don’t anticipate the constant labor and funds necessary to raise chickens in an urban setting, and rural farmers have expressed outrage at this “hobby” that is becoming more and more popular in cities across the country. According to fastcoexist.com, “As much as urban farming makes our hearts smile, there is now undeniable evidence that amateur animal husbandry also doubles as a sad chicken displacement problem,” touching on the upsetting realty of a very seemingly idyllic venture. Happily, there is one new way to experience chicken farming that is not only great for beginners, but also temporary. It’s aptly named, “Rent the Chicken.”

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Who doesn’t love fresh eggs?
Image: .imelda via Flickr CC

“Rent the Chicken” is a small business created by farmers Jenn and Phillip Thompkins that caters to “aspiring, but ignorant, chicken farmers,” according to fastcoexist.com. The husband and wife team will let you “rent” full grown egg-laying hens for one season, during which you can enjoy fresh eggs and the temporary novelty of chicken farming. For around $350, “Rent the Chicken” provides two hens, an in-person lesson on handling, a coop, feed for the duration of the rental period, and food and water dishes.

Jenn Thompson explains how “People think this is what they want to do to connect farm to table,” of folks who get in over their heads with urban chicken farming, “and then they realize the startup is an issue, or they think the payout isn’t enough for their benefit.” The Thompkinses want to help reduce the amount of chickens that are displaced when their owners lose interest or cannot handle the upkeep.

For more information visit www.rentthechicken.com.


About Alex Holt

I am a local artist from Brooklyn, NY. I love art, design, books, photography, gardening and blogging.
This entry was posted in Community Gardens, Home Gardens, Public Places, Urban Farming and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A New Chicken Rental Service Lets Urbanites Play Farmer

  1. Robbie says:

    Brillant idea! Now that is forward thinking, but sad that people don’t think about animals when they take on the responsiblity of another living creature…I have 3 dogs , 3 cats and I know better to not even consider chickens on our city lot:-)

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