The PJ Tatler

Want Fresh Eggs? Rent a Hen

Chicken rental is a growing business in today’s over-regulated food market.  Consumers who want fresh eggs from humanely raised hens are turning toward leasing or renting chickens to get the eggs they want.

Writes Associated Press,  “The growth is not an aberration. Coop rentals are booming nationwide as residents in cities, suburbs and the countryside flock to the anti-factory, locally sourced food movement. Some families also rent fowl as an educational experience for their children.”

If you don’t want to buy your own chickens, renting is a great option and it will run you about $150 a month. Basic packages offer you 2 hens, a coop, feed and phone “customer service.” The option to adopt your rented hen is available, too.

Rent a Coop, based in the Washington suburb of Potomac, Maryland, started out renting five or six coops per month in 2012, according to co-owner Tyler Phillips. Now they’re renting 25 to 30 monthly and are opening a second location in New Jersey.

“I think it will be sustained,” Phillips said of the business model. “People want to know where their food comes from.”

Customers ought to check with local zoning ordinances to make sure they aren’t running “afowl” of the law.

“Companies suggest would-be renters speak to neighbors first and do some research to ensure they don’t run afoul of local ordinances or homeowners associations. But regulations can be nebulous, especially when the birds are temporary, and are usually enforced only after complaints.”

Fortunately, hens are quiet creatures unlike roosters. Some folks report their neighbors don’t even know they have hens in their backyard.