The sharing economy has a new entrant: chicken rental companies. They're popping up around the country, including in Michigan, Massachusetts and Maryland, giving people a chance to try raising chickens before fully committing, the New York Times reports.
Businesses involved in the sharing economy typically fall into two categories. Peer-to-peer businesses, like Airbnb, and more traditional businesses where business owners buy goods and rent them out to customers. That's where chicken rentals fit.
The backyard chicken-rental movement grew out of the local food movement, according to the Times, where raising egg-laying chickens is seen as an extension of maintaining a garden.
Renting-to-own may not be the most economical way to raise hens, but it allows customers to try out a risky purchase before they buy. Building a coop and buying a pair of chickens can cost as little as $100 to $200, less than what some companies charge for a summerlong rental.