I was at a soccer game this weekend. Yes, two kids and both play soccer, and both are very good. Only one is playing right now, as she plays on a competitive team. The other is in the recreation league and 4 years younger than her sister, so her season begins in a month or so. Funny how you can have two kids from the same parents and “Bam!” one is an incredibly defensive player - goal preventer; and the other is showing signs of being an offensive goal making machine. Anywho... as we watched the game one of the parents was asking me about our chickens and asked, “Do you rent your chickens?” I replied “Exsqueeze me? Do I rent my chickens? You mean for birthday parties?” He replied as though I had a third eye in my forehead, “No, man, for cleaning up a yard.”
Huh? The chicken rental business? I can see it now, storefronts across the nation where people come to rent chickens, they drop a credit card down, a drivers license, credit check (why not humiliation at every turn is a part of life), fill out forms like buying a car... then the questions begin;
Do you have pets? What type? Has there ever been a complaint against your pet? Has it ever been in quarantine? (Mine has)
Is your yard fenced?
Are you a weirdo?
Do you believe in aliens?
Santa Claus? (actually OK in my book)
Leprechauns? (hit emergency button under counter and take evasive action)
If they pass this battery, then ask them what they need the chicken for – pest control, weed control, manure production, eggs ... dress-up or friendship (push customer out and locks doors) ... Then you lead them to Stall Number 49 and they pick up their chicken for rent. HOW COOL is this!? OK it is not cool, but compelling because, I guess people do this, and, in the same breath, the guy who asked me about it, suggested he borrow some for his yard. The spiders are running amuck! My goodness how this universe expands when you bring chickens into your life. I really was leading a humdrum life prior to chickening...not sure if this can be turned into a verb. My world has become clearer, more vivid, I see things in color now and thigns that used to be sad are happy. Well, I am only 10 minutes from Berkeley, CA and it might not be the “chickens.”
I decided to check this mystery rental business out and much to my chagrine, there is not much on this in United States, but there is quite a bit going on in Australia. Which begs the question, why not? By the way, I am sure there is someone doing this in the USA... they are just not as web-savvy as the Aussies. Indulge me and check out these sites, the only thing I can say is brilliant! By the way, this first site is incredible, I am jealous. Blogger needs to step up the template design cause the ones to choose from are stinko. This women has done a stellar job at her business and truly developed a well-rounded business model. You will see rates and models for possibly doing this in the USA.
http://rentachook.com.au/ (This is hilarious on the home page it says “Rentachook is greener than Kermit’s Bum”)
http://www.citychicks.com.au/ (This is another brilliant website. Again, the Aussie’s are pulling this together.)
This is fun stuff and it appears renting chickens is a doable business. Here in the USA, you will need to check with city ordinances to make sure you are not violating any rules. 1.) domestic animals – how many and are chickens on this list? 2.) It is a business. Can you run a business from your home, if so, get a permit. The last thing you need is a neighbor horning in on your life and stinking up the plan. Get your ducks in a row - or chickens and make sure you’ve done it right. Keep in mind, in the Bay Area politicians and local officials are making your neighbors out to be police dogs. If you are burning a fire on a spare the air day, neighbors are encourage to rat out neighbors. Likewise, we are in a drought and people are encourage to rat out neighbors who water their lawns too much. How gestapo is this? I really think most people are good and will do what is reasonable 99/100 of times. We can forgive the one.
Anyway, do your research on the local rules and do it right.
Here’s to renting out Chickens or Chooks!