Rent the Chicken program expands to Toronto
Just in time for Easter and perhaps the most in-demand season for eggs, Rent the Chicken company announced it is expanding its chicken rental services to Torontonians.
The company strives to provide people wanting backyard chickens the chance to do so without the hassle.
Wannabe farmers can rent two or four chickens. The company provides them with a portable chicken coop, food, and food and water dishes.
People keep their chickens for six months, and the hens lay between eight and 28 eggs a week — depending on how many birds the person has.
After six months, the company takes the chickens back for the colder months. Hens typically lay fewer eggs during the winter. Once the spring returns, customers can once again rent their chickens.
The company also has a hatch the chicken program. It allows families and schools to rent seven fertile eggs for five weeks. The chickens take about three weeks to hatch, giving the renters two weeks to spend with the adorable chicks before handing them back to the company.
For people who can't quite let go of the chicks after bonding with them, there is an adoption option.
Is this legal?
The city of Toronto currently does not allow people to keep backyard hens or roosters. Toronto's licensing and standards committee deferred a vote in January 2012 that could have allowed residents to keep a limited number of hens in a backyard coop.
Since the committee deferred the item indefinitely, city officials will continue responding to complaints, but won't actively enforce the bylaw.
Rent the Chicken addresses this law saying, "Due to local chicken owning laws, renters are actually purchasing the hens. At the end of the season, unless the hens are adopted, the hens will be bought back for $1."