Some of you may remember my backyard chicken-induced frenzy after writing my Rent The Chicken article last year. If not, here’s a brief refresher. Rent The Chicken is a new-ish regional business that allows Pittsburgh families to rent egg-laying hens plus a coop and supplies. They deliver the hens to your home in the spring and then pick them up in the fall. And I think it’s a brilliant solution for prospective urban farmers who don’t want the long-term commitment of keeping chickens year-round.
Well, I’m absolutely giddy to announce that the masterminds behind Rent The Chicken have come up with a new adventure for Pittsburgh families–HATCH THE CHICKEN!! Think fertilized chicken eggs hatching in an incubator in your very own living room. Think tiny little chicks running around a brooder delighting kids and parents alike. For 5 weeks. And then they take the chicks back to their rightful place at the farm. I will be placing my order shortly :).
I recently had the chance to interview Homestead Jenn, cofounder of Rent The Chicken, to find out more about this new program. Here’s what she had to say:
What is Hatch The Chicken?
Hatch The Chicken is a five-week hatching rental without the commitment of raising chicks. For the first three weeks, the eggs are in the provided incubator. Once hatched, they are moved to the provided brooder cage. Two weeks later we pick them up and return them to the farm. We supply everything needed for the incubator process and for the first two weeks of life for the chicks.
What supplies are provided?
We provide an auto-turning incubator, seven fertilized eggs, a high-powered “candling light” to examine the eggs during incubation, a Rent The Chicken Chick Starter Kit (brooder box, wood chips, chick feed, water dish, feed dish, heat lamp and thermometer), quick guide on caring for chicks and the book “Where Do Chicks Come From?” by Amy Sklansky. The hatched chicks are Sex Links – Red Stars and Black Stars so gender is known immediately after hatching.
What is the cost?
The price of the Hatch The Chicken program is $150. If Hatch The Chicken is paired up with a Rent The Chicken rental, Hatch The Chicken is discounted to $125.
How is pick-up and drop-off handled?
Hatch The Chicken is delivered and picked up by Rent The Chicken for free within 50 miles of Freeport, PA which includes Pittsburgh. For an additional transportation fee, deliveries can be made beyond the 50 mile free delivery area.
What if you want to keep the chicks?
Adoption is available at the end of the five-week rental period as Partial Adoption and Full Adoption. Partial Adoption includes all hatched chicks, the Rent The Chicken Chick Starter Kit and continued full support from Rent The Chicken. Partial Adoption is priced at $75. Full Adoption includes a four hen guarantee (no matter the outcome of the 7 eggs provided, we guarantee 4 female chicks. A chick swap may be necessary to fulfill this clause), the Rent The Chicken Chick Starter Kit, Rent The Chicken Deluxe Chicken Coop, 50 pounds of chick starter feed and continued full support from Rent The Chicken.
How does this program fit in with Rent The Chicken?
Here at Rent The Chicken, we know that the two best parts of having backyard hens is experiencing the hatching process and then having egg-laying hens. Rent The Chicken with Hatch The Chicken brings those two exciting experiences together. It takes a long 4-6 months from the time of hatching until a hen starts laying eggs and these two rentals help to bridge that gap. Also, an additional tidbit about Hatch The Chicken–it’s a great program for families who want to experience hatching, but don’t have any yard or are not permitted to raise backyard chickens in their community.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to hatch some chicks in my house this spring! Interested in getting some wee little chicks of your own? You can call 724-305-0782 to place an order.
For updates on Hatch the Chicken and Rent the Chicken, please check their website, Facebook page and Twitter account.© Copyright 2015 Nadine Champsi, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Pittsburgh Mommy Blog
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