What new businesses will spring up now that we’re all planting vegetable gardens and raising backyard chickens? We’ve already seen garden services that will plant, maintain, and harvest your vegetable garden for you–so how about a backyard chicken service?
Rentachook is based in Sydney, Australia, but the idea is so good that I hope it spreads to the US. They will sell you a ready-made chicken coop and chickens, but they will also let you RENT some hens for six weeks to see how you like it. If it doesn’t work out for you, just send the whole thing back. They’ll even send them over to a school for a little educational time with the kids.
Another useful service any city-chicken company should offer: a home for aged or unwanted hens. Sometimes, for whatever reason, people just can’t keep their chickens. Maybe they move and the new place doesn’t have a chicken-friendly backyard. Maybe their flock has dwindled to one elderly hen who is constantly tormented by the family dog. For whatever reason, sometimes people have to part with a hen. And taking it to the animal shelter’s no good–who’s going to adopt an old hen?
But sending it off to a bucolic, free-range, happy little farm where it can scratch in the dirt with other hens? Awesome. I once knew a guy who offered this service: if you bought a chicken from him, you forever had the option of bringing it back and turning it loose in his own flock. Chickens can live a long time–ten years or more–and having this option takes the pressure off.
Any chicken coaches, backyard chicken suppliers, or other poultry-friendly businesses springing up out there in response to the interest in backyard hens? Post a comment and let us know about it.Posted by Amy Stewart on September 25, 2008 at 11:34 am, in the category Unusually Clever People.