Test-A-Nest

Willow City Farm's Chicken Rental Program


Are you thinking of joining the “backyard chicken” trend?

 

Every Spring, farmers and animal lovers alike purchase chicks from the local farm supply store or co-op, and many times the chicken do not make it to 16-30 weeks for many reasons, and people don’t get to enjoy the biggest benefit of the backyard chicken: the eggs!!

 

There’s many reasons people don’t have their chickens long-term…  Sometimes the family pet, be it the dog or cat, doesn’t understand that your chicken is a pet, too. Sometimes they just aren’t healthy enough to survive past chick-hood.  Occasionally (and frequently) the farm store doesn’t sex them properly, and it turns out your precious girl “Ruby” is actually Rudy, and when Rudy crows, he’s got to go!  (Willow City Farm acquires quite a few roosters each year from improper sexing.  Good for us, but bad for the little girl who’s raised “Rudy” for four months and now she cannot keep him because he’s waking up the neighbors!)

 

Many potential chicken owners never take the leap because all the prep work can be overwhelming.  Do I have the space?  What are the local regulations? Where do I get a coop, or do I have to build one?  How big does my coop need to be?  How do raise that little peep to be a large egg-laying hen?  What do you mean they need a heat lamp?  For how long? 

 

Willow City Farm’s chicken rental program takes the guesswork out of chicken raising. We offer a portable coop, the chickens, and all the supplies you will need to keep your girls happy and healthy!

 

Here’s how it works:

 

We will come to your home for an initial site visit to make sure your area is ready for chickens, and will discuss their care and our program.   This ensures you have all the information you need to decide if our chicken rental program is right for you.  Then we will arrange a time to bring your coop, chickens, feed and supplies.  It’s now your time to enjoy!  Chickens are very low maintenance, so you won’t have much to do but enjoy your new pets and their eggs.

 

Within a few days of their arrival, they’ll be laying eggs for you to enjoy!  Eggs that have 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fats, and 2 times more omega 3 fatty acids than store bought eggs.   You should get about 8-14 or 16-28 eggs depending on the package you select.

 


 

What we supply:

  • Portable Chicken Coop

  • 2-5 laying hens (depending on the coop you select and your city's regulations)

  • Delivery and set up of coop within 50 miles, longer distance at additional charge

  • Three-month supply of laying feed (Organic and non-GMO options available for an additional cost)

  • Food and water dishes designed specifically for chicken

  • Pine shavings for bedding

  • Chicken care class for you and your family (caring for your chicken and keeping their coop clean)

  • Unlimited phone and email support

  • Free replacement of hens due to loss by natural causes or predators (not neglect)

  • No commitment if you decide to end your relationship with the hens (they won't post anything negative about your break-up on social media)

  • Delivery, set-up, and removal

 

How Long is the Rental?

Rentals are 3-months. You can choose to extend your rental for another 3-month period if you'd like.

 

What happens at the end of the rental?

 

At the end of your three-month rental, you have a few choices… You can renew your rental for another one, two, or three months, you can call us to bring the chickens and coop back to Willow City Farm (no harm, no "fowl") OR if you’ve decided that raising chickens is perfect for your family, you can adopt your chicken and purchase your coop and supplies. 

 

What's the upkeep like?

On top of enjoying the fresh eggs and surprising personalities of your new feathered friends, there are a few things you must do to ensure your hens enjoy their new home: We recommend cleaning the coop every couple of weeks (the pine shavings and droppings are great for composting!), filling their feed bowl with feed when it gets low (every 2-3 days) and giving them fresh water daily. We recommend letting the hens out of the coop for a couple hours each day for free ranging if your yard permits. They will eat all kinds of pests and fertilize your yard. Each hen will lay an average of 1 egg per day and will usually be laid by noon. ​

 

All feed is included in your rental.   We know how much feed a hen eats over the course of a month and will supply you with enough feed. However, if your dog, cat, or wild animals eat the feed we've brought, you will need to purchase more.  Just contact us and we'll drop off another bag and you can pay on delivery, or you can purchase the feed yourself at the local Farm & Home or Tractor Supply Store.  You will need to make sure your hens have good, clean water and food available. 

 

Are these girls noisy?   

Your hens will make some noise but will not crow like roosters. Generally the hens will make soft cackling noises unless a first time hen is laying, which can be fairly loud! It's a good way to know when your young hen is starting to lay. They are mostly silent from sundown to sunrise.

 

What if my hen dies?

Let's face it, this is the number one question we're asked.  Sometimes a hen gets sick or a predator finds a way in to the normally secure coop.  We will replace hens free of charge as long as the death of the hen was not due to neglect or a family pet kills them. If the weather turns unseasonably cold or hot, we will send you electrolytes and probiotics to put in their water. (These guys are very tolerant to extreme weather temperatures, so this is unlikely.)  In most cases, we can even replace it with a hen of the exact breed, so maybe the kids won't notice.  Maybe.

 

How many eggs will they lay each week?  

There is no magic number, but depending on breed of chicken and time of year,

you can expect 1-2 eggs per day for 2 hens.   That total can be less with extreme

heat or cold.  There is no guarantee on the number of eggs you will get, but if your

hens are well-cared for you should have plenty of eggs!  We're happy to show

you things you can do yo make sure you maximize the number of eggs they lay.

 

 

I'm going on vacation, how do I care for my hens? 

If the period of time is 3 days or less, just make sure their food and water is full when you leave.   Contact us if you are going to be gone for a longer period and we will most likely be able to help you take care of your girls while you're away.  They can even vacation at Willow City Farm for no extra charge.

 

What kind of chickens will I get?

We raise over 25 pure breeds of chicken at Willow City Farm. There is no guarantee as to what breed you will receive, but we will do our best to accommodate you and discuss which breeds are best suited for your situation.  (For example, some of our chickens are overly friendly, and would love to fly onto your arm.  Good for some, not for others.  Some clients love blue or green eggs, some don't.)  For a fee, you can upgrade your breed of hens to extremely rare heritage breeds.

 

How much does it cost?

The cost depends on the coop package you select and the amount of hens in your rental. See packages below.

Two Buck Cluck Package (Basic)

 

  • Two Buck Cluck Coop (this coop requires time to forage outside of the coop)

  • 2 laying hens

  • Delivery and set up of coop within 50 miles, longer distance at additional charge

  • Three-month supply of laying feed (Organic and non-GMO options available for an additional cost)

  • Food and water dishes designed specifically for chicken

  • Pine Shavings for bedding

  • Chicken care class for you and your family (caring for your chicken and keeping their coop clean)

  • Unlimited phone and email support

  • Free replacement of hens due to loss by natural causes or predators (not neglect)

  • No commitment if you decide to end your relationship with the hens (they won't post anything negative about your break-up on social media)

  • Delivery, set-up, and removal

 

This coop is efficient, safe and portable. The coop includes a self enclosed run that provides safety from daytime predators, and an upper  roosting and nesting area that ensures safety from nocturnal predators.  This design provides easy access to the nest boxes where eggs will be collected daily and allows for easy maintenance.

 

*Each of our Two Buck Cluck coops are custom made, so no two coops look alike. These photos are a sample of what your coop may look like. We love using recycled barnwood or pallets, so you find most our coops look pretty modern, and will be a hit as a fixture in your backyard!

 

Cost:

  • Seasonal Rental  (April - October): $375

  • Three Month Rental: $310

  • Month-to-Month Extension: $80

  • Cost to purchase all supplies, coop, and hens after minimum three month rental: $225

The Deluxe Coop Package

 

This package contains everything in the Two Buck Cluck package with an upgraded coop, and up to 4 laying hens.

 

This two-tier coop holds up to four chickens. It is made of durable wood and is designed with a window, two access doors, a perch, and a ramp that leads from the upper to the lower level, so the chickens can easily roam around and nest in their new home while you have easy access to their eggs. The roof section lifts off to make the coop easy to clean.

 

Dimensions & Specifications:

Capacity: 4 Chickens

Dimensions: 76L x 28.75D x 44.25H inches

Material: Fir Wood

Size: 76L x 28.75D x 44.25H inches

 

Cost:

  • Seasonal Rental  (April - October): $575

  • Three Month Rental: $500

  • Month-to-Month Extension: $125

  • Cost to purchase all supplies, coop, and 4 hens after minimum three month rental: $350

 

 

 

The Custom Coop Package

 

We have a very skilled carpenter that can build a coop to order, and yes, you can still rent it!  The prices will be slightly more or less than the other packages depending on size, materials, and the number of hens, but we can build your coop to match your decor or style. See something on pinterest you like?  Send us the photo and we'll see if it's something we can do!  Just call us for more information!

 

Cost:

  • Varies based on size and materials and the amount of hens

  • Can ususally be complete within 1-3 weeks

 

 

 

© 2015 Willow City Farm, The Farmstand, and Willow C. Farms, LLC.

info@willowcityfarm.com / 217-899-4562

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