By David Wade


ACUSHNET (CBS) – You can rent an apartment, rent a car and even rent tools, but here’s a new one. Now you can rent a chicken. It’s perfect for anyone who has ever wanted to keep hens in their backyard, but who’s hesitant to go ‘all in.’ It’s a way to try it first.

At the Twin Cedar Farm in Acushnet, the chickens are ready for new homes, and so are the newly made coops. “Our customers are able to rent two birds and a coop for six months over the summer, and we provide all the feed and delivery and all the support they need,” says Alexander Magnuson.

He and his wife Ella run the operation and started renting hens last year. The cost is $450 for six months. “People like to find out where their food is coming from more and more these days. So it kind of gives people an opening,” Ella says.

And, there’s that steady supply of fresh eggs. “The eggs taste fantastic. Nothing like you get in the grocery store,” Ella says.

Shannon Smith wanted to keep chickens in her Newton back yard for years, but it was tough for her to take the plunge. So she rented chickens from Twin Cedar last year. “It was an easy way to try it out, and if we didn’t like it, they were going to take them back,” she says.

But she was hooked. “We liked it because we kept them. They were part of the family,” Shannon says.

“We’ve kind of made it so easy that all they have to do is add the feed and put some water in there and they’ll have eggs that day. So it doesn’t get any better than that,” according to Ella Magnuson.

And if the backyard hen thing is just not for you, don’t worry. “They’ve had the chance to experience it and we can come and pick them up in October,” says Alex.

It is rental time. Last year Twin Cedar Farm rented out 20 birds. This year they’ve got 40 ready to go with coops and enough food for the six month rental period.

David Wade

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