A Brilliant Backyard Idea

Every once in a while I’ll stumble across a business plan that’s so quirky and magnificent that I just have to share it. When people think out of the box and it resonates with me, I just naturally want them to succeed, because, well, the world needs this product or service. That’s how I feel about Rent-A-Chicken.

In a world where we have become more and more skeptical about our food sources, this is an idea whose time has come. Urban farming is becoming increasingly popular. I love the little garden in our back yard. I savor every tomato, strawberry, onion, clove of garlic, etc. that comes from it. I love that we have blackberries and pears and apples in the park that surrounds us. We have also put up a bat house and are planning a bug house and we plant flowers that are good for the bees and hummingbirds. I like the idea of giving back to the planet while also sharing in its abundance. It would be amazing to have fresh eggs, from well-loved chickens, too.

For the price of the chicken rental (the amount of which appears nowhere on the website, and believe you me, I’ve complained to them about that) you get laying hens, a coop, an enclosed run, food, a water dispenser, delivery, training on chicken care, and a help desk. They’ll even house your chicken over the labor-intensive winter for you, and tag it so you can get the same hen back the following year, in case you become attached (which I’m quite sure I would.)

The thought of city-dwelling parents introducing their children to some aspect of farming makes me really happy. I think raising chickens would make the youth of today a lot more aware of where food comes from. It would also make them see how important it is to take care of our environment.

I also love the idea that there are franchises available for farmers. It’s so much harder for them to keep afloat these days that increasing their ability to bring in extra money appeals to me greatly. Currently, I can’t Rent-A-Chicken in the Seattle area, which breaks my heart. So, area farmers, are you listening? We need you to become cluckin’ entrepreneurs!

Chickens

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Chicken Panic

My late sister used to have a tiny farm in Missouri. One day she woke up, looked out the back window, and saw a smoking black circle surrounded by snow where her wooden shed used to be. When the insurance company came to investigate the claim, they concluded that it was caused by “chicken panic” and paid up.

Apparently what had happened was a raccoon had gotten into the shed where the chickens roosted. They naturally freaked out, and in their terror they knocked over the heater that had been placed there to keep them warm throughout the winter. The fire engulfed the shed, chickens, raccoon and all.

Ever since then, the term “chicken panic” has become part of my lexicon. I define it as a harsh and exaggerated reaction to change. People don’t want to adjust their lifestyles to accommodate the needs of the planet? Chicken panic. Howls of outrage due to new rules or legislation? Chicken panic. Inability to accept new scientific discoveries? Chicken panic.

It astounds me how much time the human race wastes in running around, figuratively setting fire to our sheds. One thing everyone can count on is that change will happen. You’d think, then, that we’d be more capable of adjusting to it.

chickenRun