Why I’m Renting Out Backyard Chickens

Did you know that you can rent chickens? Here's how it works.

Over the last several years, people have become more and more interested in where their food comes from.  How were the chickens that laid their eggs treated?  What was sprayed on their salad?  What did the cow that became their steak dinner eat?  Many are voting with their dollars at the grocery store by buying organic or pasture-raised.  Some are taking it even further by filling their backyards with gardens and even backyard chickens.

Have you always wanted backyard chickens, but didn't know how to start. Find out how you can get started with backyard chickens risk-free. #chickens #naturalliving

 

However, with the rising popularity of backyard chickens, many have raised concerns.  And, even though some of those concerns are mere scare tactics, I can’t deny that some are real problems.  So, when I learned that you can now actually rent backyard chickens, I had to know more. 

Backyard Chicken Eggs

Rent The Chicken is a chicken rental company that has grown to over 30 locations across the US and Canada.  Getting started is simple.  Check to see if there is a Rent The Chicken affiliate in your area.  Once you find your affiliate, pay a deposit via Paypal or phone and a delivery date will be set!  Then, just wait for your chickens and everything that they need to arrive!

Did you know that you can rent backyard chickens? This article tells all about it! #chickens #farmfresh #eggs

If you are considering getting a few girls to provide you with farm-fresh eggs this spring, here are a few reasons you should check out Rent The Chicken first.

Did you know that you can rent backyard chickens? This article tells all about it! #chickens #farmfresh #eggs

It’s good for the chickens!  

While we all have the best of intentions, sometimes things don’t go as planned.  Sadly, there has been an increasing number of chickens released to fend for themselves or taken to animal shelters.  Sometimes people don’t realize that hens well outlive their laying years and the cost of feed continues even when the eggs stop.  Sometimes people move.  Sometimes they simply figure out that keeping chickens is just not for them.  Renting chickens before you make a long term commitment allows you to give backyard chicken keeping a try.  And, if you “chicken out,” Rent The Chicken will come pick up your chickens and return them to the farm.

Even if you absolutely love your chickens, stuff happens!  Skills that were common a few generations ago, aren’t so common anymore.  If your chicken gets sick or attacked by a predator or you simply have a question about proper care, Rent The Chicken is there to help!  Just give them a call.  If the care required is beyond your comfort level, a Rent The Chicken affiliate can return your chicken to the farm and nurse her back to health.

It’s good for you! 

Did you know that you can rent backyard chickens? This article tells all about it! #chickens #farmfresh #eggs

You don’t have to worry about your eggs being involved in one of the many recalls you see on your newsfeed.  Knowing exactly what your chickens eat and how they are treated gives you peace of mind, and eggs from healthy, happy backyard chickens have 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fats, and 2 times more omega 3 fatty acids than store bought eggs. 

Did you know that you can rent backyard chickens? This article tells all about it! #chickens #farmfresh #eggs

Chickens have a way of drawing you outside!  Whether you’re sitting on the back porch watching your chickens scratch in the grass or chasing that one rogue hen back to the coop, you’ll benefit from the sunshine and fresh air!

Did you know that you can rent backyard chickens? This article tells all about it! #chickens #farmfresh #eggs

You’ll discover very quickly that chickens all have their own personalities and can be quite amusing!  You more than likely will get so attached that you won’t want to send them back at the end of your rental.  Don’t worry.  Rent The Chicken offers adoptions at the end of your rental period!

Did you know that you can rent backyard chickens? This article tells all about it! #chickens #farmfresh #eggs

The price of eggs, as well as all of our groceries, has fluctuated a lot the last few years.  Whether it be due to government regulations, shortages, or diseases plaguing large producers, you know exactly what your eggs cost.

Even with all of it’s advantages, renting backyard chickens may not be for you.  But, it may be just what one of your friends is looking for.  Could you please pass this along to them?  Who knows?  You may get some farm fresh eggs out of the deal!  😉

Do you have a chicken loving friend?  Check out our top ten quirky chicken gift picks!

Check out these 10 quirky gifts that any chicken mom is sure to love! #chickens #momgifts

This Year’s Top Ten Chicken Mom Gifts

Any chicken mom would love these gifts! #chickens

Chicken moms.  You know the ones.  The ones that scroll through 50 chicken pictures on their phone to show you a picture of their firstborn son.  The ones that are happily scraping chicken poo when other moms are sitting at a little league game.  The ones who talk animatedly about their chickens personalities and antics at mom’s night out.   Yeah, those moms.  The only thing that’s harder than understanding them is buying them a gift.  I mean, of course they’d love another chicken, but really, do you want to add to the insanity?  So, today I have a list of chicken mom gifts that are sure to make her smile. 

Check out these 10 quirky gifts that any chicken mom is sure to love! #chickens #momgifts

Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.  I may be paid money as part of an affiliate program if you make a purchase by clicking through these links.  I will use said money to buy more chickens. 😀

These “nesting” chicken measuring cups are adorable and functional.  Open the mother hen to reveal an egg.  “Crack” the egg, and you will find her cute little chick.  The set has a total of 6 dry measuring cups ranging from 1/4 to 1 cup.
Chicken Mom Gifts: Nesting Chicken Measuring Cups

While we’re in the kitchen, check out this helpful little hen! She perches on the side of your soup pot and holds your spoon for you!

Chicken Mom Gifts: Chicken spoon restAnd, for the love of chickens, how cute is this sink strainer?  I’m always concerned about what is going into our septic system, so this is a perfect solution!

Chicken Mom Gifts: Chicken drain cover

Chicken moms may spend most of their time in the coop, but they still like to get gussied up for a night on the town.  What chicken mom wouldn’t love to be seen sporting a hen bag?  

Chicken Mom Gifts: Chicken hen bag

And, while you’re at it, throw in this rubber chick coin purse!

Chicken Mom Gifts: Chicken coin purse

And an egg laying rubber chicken keychain.
Chicken Mom Gifts: Chicken keychain

And some Chicken Poop Lip Junk.  Not only is it amusing, but it’s seriously good stuff!

Chicken Mom Gifts: Chicken poop chapstick

And, of course a chicken shirt!

Chicken Mom Gifts: OCD Chicken Shirt

 I got these for Christmas, and I love them!  These chicken socks are the perfect height to wear under my tall boots, and when I take my shoes off at someone else’s home, they are always the life of the party!  😀

Chicken Mom Gifts: Chicken Leg Socks

Last but not least, every chicken mom loves to show off her little flock–even if she’s driving down the road!

Chicken Mom Gifts: Chicken decals

Do have a chicken mom in your life?  Are you a chicken mom?  What are your favorite quirky chicken gifts?

Do you want some more chicken fun?  You may like this.

You can rent chickens! This post tells all about it! #chickens

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Do Over: When Things Don’t Go Quite As Planned

Has a short cut ever turned a simple task into a much bigger ordeal? It can leave you wanting a do over. Read how one decision resulted in my family chasing a chicken through somebody else's neighborhood. #doover #perspective #secondchances

Disclosure:  If you click on links in this post and make a purchase, I may (at no additional cost to you) receive an advertising commission.  I will use the money to buy more chickens.  😉

Have you ever started to do something and suddenly realized that if it went wrong, it could go very, very wrong?  Then, you did it anyway.  Yeah.  Me too.  And, usually it turns out okay.  But, every once in a while, the whole experience leaves you wishing for a do over!

Has a short cut ever turned a simple task into a much bigger ordeal? It can leave you wanting a do over. Read how one decision resulted in my family chasing a chicken through somebody else's neighborhood. #doover #perspective #secondchances

It should have been easy, really.  We were going to town for a birthday party, so I decided to drop a rooster off at a friend’s house on the way.  She wasn’t home so she left a cage inside her chicken run for me to put him in until she got back.  I pulled into the driveway, told the kids to stay put, and Mr. Rooster and I headed back to his new home.  

When I arrived at the chicken run, I sat Mr. Rooster’s carrier on the ground by the gate.  As I reached for the latch, I paused and looked around.  To my left was a barbed wire fence.  In front of me was the a treed area and the back fence.  And, to my right and behind me was nice and open.  If Mr. Rooster got away, he could be a real pain to catch.  But, hey, I’m an experienced chicken person, right?  He was bound to be huddled against the back of the carrier wondering what was going on.  

So, I opened the door, and… whoosh!  Mr. Rooster made a run for it.  I grabbed him, but he wasn’t giving up without a fight.  The next 30 seconds consisted of flapping and grabbing and yelling and scratching.  And, then, he was gone.  

Panic-stricken, I looked around until I spotted him on the other side of the run.  I backed up slowly, keeping my eyes on him until I reached the corner of the house and made a break for the car, waving my arms like a crazy person and yelling for the kids to come help.  They came to my rescue, and we returned to Mr. Rooster with a game plan.  I opened the gate, and we slowly herded Mr. Rooster toward the chicken run.  All was going well until, at the last minute, he darted the other direction, ran under the neighbor’s barbed-wire fence, and took up residence near their back door.  

So, there I stood, wondering if anyone was home and if they would shoot me for chasing a chicken around their back yard.  Finally, I hopped the fence, knocked on the door, and got the sweet lady’s permission to chase our chicken.  After crawling through two more barbed wire fences, I had him back on the right property, where I found two hens that had taken advantage of me leaving the gate open.  I shut the gate, and we repeated different versions of the previous scenario for the next 30 minutes.  

Eventually, we caught one of the escaped hens and slowly worked Mr. Rooster into the chicken run–only to discover that the second escaped hen was hiding somewhere in the trees.  I still needed to catch Mr. Rooster (who was now inside the coop) to put him in the cage, so Farm Boy and I crawled into the coop, cornered Mr. Rooster, and, despite much flapping and squawking, put him in the cage.

Meanwhile, Towhead and Farm Girl searched the wooded area for the second hen.  She was nowhere to be found, but we did get to meet the neighbor to the back, who I’m sure was wondering what-on-earth was going on.  

Dejected, we returned to the yard, only to find… the second hen!!!  After a few laps around the yard, and under the porch, she decided to return to the coop!  I secured the gate, and we whooped and hollered like the bunch of rednecks that we are!

As we pulled out of the driveway, I chided myself for making such a rookie mistake.  I knew better–really, I did.  I just took an unnecessary short cut.  And that short cut cost us an hour and a lot of frustration…  I was jarred from my thoughts by Towhead exclaiming, “It’s never this much fun when things don’t go wrong.”

Maybe I don’t need a do over after all…

Do you ever take short cuts even though you know you shouldn’t?  Did it go wrong?  I’d love to hear your story!  How have your kids changed your perspective on a “bad” situation?

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How To Make A Chicken Pin Cushion

My chicken pin cushion

Sewing is one of the many homesteading skills I’m trying to learn.  In fact, I have “become a successful seamstress” on my Bucket List.  So, when I came across these adorable chicken pin cushions, I HAD to make a chicken pin cushion of my own!

If you're looking for a beginner sewing project, these are a great place to start! They're easy and super cute! #chickens #sewing #easysewing

Of course, all of my kids wanted their own chickens, and, since we were experiencing extreme cold, snow and ice, I thought it would be a good day to introduce them to the sewing machine.  🙂  It’s a fairly simple project and Red Ted Art has a complete tutorial.  They also have tons of fun kid projects, so I have a feeling I’ll be visiting often.

I do have to caution you, though.  I have a feeling that these chicken pin cushions are going to be like their live counterparts, you can’t have (or make) just one!  It’s called “chicken math.”  😉

Here are the kids’ finished chickens:

If you're looking for a beginner sewing project, these are a great place to start! They're easy and super cute! #chickens #sewing #easysewing

Have you made these chicken pin cushions?  What do you do with your kids when your stuck inside due to bad weather?

Buying Chicks At The Feed Store

Chicks in tub

Chicks in tubThere you are again, at the feed store gazing longingly into those peeping tubs of cuteness.  You pull yourself away, and go fill your buggy with the gardening stuff you came for.  But, before you make it to the checkout stand, the peeps draw you back in like a june bug to a bug zapper.  You try to turn away, but your kids’ longing eyes implore you to stay.  And…  You give in.  Today is the day you will finally buy chicks!

But, then as you look at the various tubs, you panic.  Pullet, bantam, heavy breeds, straight run.  What does it all mean?  You can’t leave now because you already promised your kids, and the teenage worker you just flagged down isn’t much help.  So, before you get stuck in this… ummm… all-too-familiar predicament, take a minute to read through these commonly-used terms.

Heavies/Heavy Breeds – Heavies are what you would think of as a “normal sized” chicken.  They may also be called standard breeds.  Common breeds include barred rock, rhode island reds, australorps, buff orpingtons, and leghorns.

Bantams – Bantams are smaller than your standard-sized chicken.  They may be an option if you have space constraints, but remember their eggs will also be smaller.  Typically, you need two bantam eggs for every standard egg.

Straight Run – Straight run means that the sex of the chickens has not been determined.  They are typically less expensive.  However, having a rooster (or multiple roosters) in your flock presents a unique set of issues.  And, even though roosters are great protectors for the flock, they are not necessary to get eggs–only for the eggs to hatch.  😉

Pullets – A pullet is a young hen, generally under a year old.  Sometimes the feed store will label them as banded because a band has been placed on their wings to show that they are a females.  These chicks will be a little more expensive, and sometimes they are incorrect on the sex, but, in my opinion, these are your best bet when getting started with chickens

Broilers/Meat breed – I have noticed that feed stores carrying broilers (generally Cornish X)  has become more common in the last few years.  I definitely don’t recommend purchasing broilers without a large amount of research.  They are bred to grow very quickly (reaching maturity in 6-8 weeks), and are not intended to live a long life.  Special care is needed to avoid leg and heart problems.

So, there you have it–a quick rundown of chicken terminology you need before buying chicks.  Next, I will explain what you need to take home with your new chicks.  🙂

Live Free Range

Live Free Range Chicken

Live Free Range Chicken

Free range. Whether you’re a homesteader or someone who pays attention to where their food comes from, you hear that term a lot.  As homesteaders, we understand that free ranging our animals comes with a greater risk–loss to predators.  As consumers, we realize that free range products come at a greater cost financially.  However, for the most part, we agree that the rewards far outweigh the costs and risks.  That’s why I immediately fell in love with this new commercial from Reebok.

The commercial starts with a barn full of chickens in individual cages.  However, there was one red hen that wanted more.  She was not satisfied to live out her life in a cage.  Perhaps, she had planned her great escape for weeks.  If she discussed it with the other chickens, they undoubtedly told her to forget about her crazy ideas, don’t rock the boat, just stay here with the rest of us and lay eggs until you die…  After all, we are out of the rain and food is brought to us daily.  It’s safe.  You don’t know what is outside of this barn.  You could be killed…or worse.

But the red hen couldn’t be deterred.  Her day of escape finally came, and, as she busted out of her cage and ran for freedom, the other chickens cackled even louder…  “Don’t do this.  Come back while you can.  Stay here where it’s safe.  Why can’t you just be happy with the way things are?”  As the farmer comes to see what all of the commotion is about, the red hen is faced with her moment of decision, give up or run after her dream with all that she’s got.

She chooses freedom.  However, her moment of victory is short-lived as she faces obstacle after obstacle.  But, at this point, she’s all in.  Her only choice is to keep fighting.  So, she runs.  She falls down.  She gets back up only to stare death in the face and run some more.  Then, when she finally has a moment to rest, she sees more “caged” individuals, just like the ones she left behind.  But, just as she begins to wonder if she is the only dream chaser in the world, she finds her tribe. 

How often are we like those caged chickens?  Sure, life is boring and not fulfilling, but it’s safe.  However, it’s better to die pursuing your purpose than of atrophy.  So, whatever your dream is, do one thing today to get you closer to achieving it.  Find your tribe.  You know, those crazy people that aren’t willing to accept the status quo either.  Because, nobody will understand your burning desire for something more like they will.

Oh, and if your dreams involve homesteading, join our Homesteading Challenge Group.  We are working together to learn a new skill every month this year.

Shared on:  Homestead Blog Hop, Homeacre Hop, Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop

The Great Homesteading Challenge

Homesteading Challenge

Homesteading Challenge

Happy New Year Friends!!!  2014 was a great year for us as we ventured into un-charted (for us) waters.

I hope your year was wonderful also, but even if it wasn’t, that’s the beauty of a new year.  It gives us a chance to step back, reflect, plan, and forge ahead with a clean slate!  I know for me I’ve suffered from a little thing called “analysis paralysis”.  I’ve spent many hours researching and planning, but have rarely taken the next step of actually implementing the things I was studying.  For that reason, my word for 2015 is ACTION, and that is my reason for creating THE GREAT HOMESTEADING CHALLENGE of 2015!  I introduced this challenge in a previous post, then spend an undisclosed amount of time looking for information on how to create a challenge group.  😉  It turns out, I didn’t find a ton of information, so, guess what, I’m going to take ACTION with what I know!

The best way to get involved is to subscribe to our blog.  Subscribing simply means that you can provide your e-mail over on the right, and you will get notified when new content is on the blog.  You will only get notified if there is new content, and I promise I will never take advantage of, sale, or laugh at your e-mail address.  🙂  If you subscribe, you will get an additional monthly e-mail outlining the projects for the month and a shopping list.  Also, as part of my challenge, I will be creating a notebook with recipes, information and spreadsheets for the various challenges.  After all, information on “how to survive a long term electrical outage” won’t do much good if it’s all on my Pinterest account.  Subscribers will also receive links to all notebook pages I create throughout the year.  If you choose not to subscribe, we still love you!  You will have access to all how-to videos/instructions on the blog–just make sure you pop in and check for new content!

Soooo… Without further ado, here are monthly topics for the year!  We look forward to learning together!  Let’s make 2015 amazing!

January: Homemade cleaners. We will be making laundry detergent, soap, all purpose cleaners, etc. The goal is to reduce the amount of chemicals in our home and save money.

February: Gardening. It’s still cold here on the homestead, but it’s a great time to plan and get a head start on a great spring garden.

March and April: Frugality. Tips and tricks to get out of debt and stay out of debt, even while building a homestead.

May: Chickens. Chickens are a great way to get into livestock. They are relatively inexpensive, provide both meat and eggs, and are tons of fun! They are even allowed in many municipalities and backyard chicken keeping is on the rise as more and more people become interested in knowing where their food comes from.

June: Preparedness I. We’re not talking in a crazy prepper way, but when you live 30 minutes from the nearest urgent care and electrical outages could last for weeks, basic first aid and food storage is a must!

July: Food Preservation. Now that the garden is producing, it’s time to harvest and store some of those yummy veggies for the cold winter ahead!

August: Preparedness II. Preparedness is such a broad topic that we can’t possibly cover it all in one month.

September: Winter Prep. Winter’s coming! It’s time to get the garden, animals and buildings ready!

October: Replacing the Grocery Store. It’s amazing how easy it is to make many of the things that we buy at the grocery store weekly!

November: Skin Care/Beauty Products. Now that we’ve reduced the chemicals used our home, let’s reduce those that we use on our body, too.

December: Year In Review/Planning. What worked? What didn’t work? Let’s use what we learned to plan for an even BETTER 2016!

What We Do For Fun

As I mentioned the other day, I am reading “The Unwired Mom” by Sallie Mae.  It has given me practical tools to participate in social media without getting sucked down the internet “rabbit hole”.  I just wanted to show you the result of a basically unplugged Sunday afternoon in our house.

So, if you want to spend less time staring into a computer screen (or phone) and more time dancing with chickens (or whatever you do for fun), I highly recommend picking up a copy of “The Unwired Mom”.  😀

Disclosure: The FTC requires me to tell you that I have included affiliate links in this post. This means that I will receive a commission for all bundles purchased through my site.  Even though it is not required by the FTC, I feel a moral obligation to warn you that the money will probably be used to buy more chickens.  However, no matter how badly I want more chickens, I would never recommend to you a product that I would not purchase myself.  Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.