British Columbia

Chicken rental service comes to Lower Mainland

A chicken rental service is available in the Lower Mainland this summer, but know your city's bylaws before you rent.

You can rent three backyard hens for fresh eggs all summer

The service provides three hens, a coop, and all the feed necessary from May to October. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

Lower Mainlanders with a hankering for fresh eggs this summer are in luck — a rental chicken service is expanding to the region this spring.

Rent The Chicken, a U.S. based service with multiple Canadian affiliates, has operated in Kamloops and the Okanagan for the past year.

For a fee, the service "rents" out three hens, a coop and all the feeding supplies necessary for a six month period.

Would-be chicken farmers are given a guide book on how to raise chickens, as well as support from Rent The Chicken via phone, text, and online.

The hens produce an egg each per day.

Marie McGivern, a homestead farmer for Rent The Chicken, says the service has had an enthusiastic response and clients have found it easy to take care of the chickens.

"Certainly, we've never had — ourselves or any of the other affiliates — any challenges of the chickens being taken care of properly up to now and the company has been in existence for several years."

McGivern says the Lower Mainland package includes the three hens, coop, delivery — and costs $965.

Know the bylaws

Before you sign up for the service, it is important to consult whether backyard chickens are allowed on your property.

The City of Abbotsford, for instance, does not allow the practice in residential zones, while Surrey and Vancouver do allow it.

In addition, there may be a number of bylaws to aware of.

For example, in Vancouver you can only keep a maximum of four hens (no roosters), the eggs may only be used for non-commercial purposes, and the hens should be registered with the City.

Listen to the interview with Marie McGivern on CBC's The Early Edition