Chicken rental business is booming for two local farmers
INNISFIL -- You don't need a farm to get farm-fresh eggs, and you don't need to own the chicken either, you just need to rent one.
"It's a great experience," says owner Abigail Robinson. "You can't go wrong with farm-fresh eggs from your backyard."
The chicken coop rental program was initially started four years ago by Sharon Kennie at her Oro-Medonte farm.
Over the years, Kennie says she has seen the demand grow with people wanting chickens in their backyards but noticed that no one knew what to do with them during the winter.
Kennie decided to open a rent-for-the-summer program, leasing chickens out over the summer months and having them returned in the fall.
This year with grocery stores running out of eggs because of the pandemic, Kennie says the demand has skyrocketed.
"I think the whole COVID situation has made people realize how important it is to have some sort of self-sustainability going forward."
Kennie adds that along with having a return of roughly a dozen eggs a week, there are various benefits with raising chickens.
"You know that you're going to have an ongoing food source. You know what you're feeding your chickens, and you know what you're going to be consuming."
Kennie says she sold out her coops in February, so she asked Robinson at Father Joy's Farm in Innisfil to help, and the two partnered to rent out chickens.
Robinson says she's already nearly sold out.
They add that renters don't need to know much about raising chickens, suggesting the process for eggs is pretty easy.
"In each coop with the package, you get two chickens, and they will [get] comfortable; lay and happily fit in that coop," said Robinson.
Plus, the program gives renters the ability to chicken-out at any time with no commitment.
Kennie and Robinson said once rented, they are always available by phone to help out, from delivery to care.
The chickens return to their coops on Oct. 31.