Don't I need a rooster to get eggs?
Nope! Chickens lay eggs with or without a rooster around. It makes no difference.
When do you rent out chickens? When do you take them back?
We send the birds out in April and collect them in November. We prorate for partial months. Severe weather can delay the coops being delivered or accelerate their collection while mild weather can send the coops out early. If you would like to keep your birds through a longer season, just let us know.
How many eggs will we get from two hens?
Depends on the hens, since some are better layers than others. You can expect to get at least a half dozen eggs a week and more often 8 or 10 eggs a week. If you have a big family, consider adding an additional hen or picking breeds that are the best layers.
Can I get sick from my chickens?
Generally, no. The diseases your chickens can get won't jump to humans. The exception is salmonella which can occur in a chicken's environment. Be sure to wash your hands after handling your birds, keep your coop clean, and collect your eggs promptly.
Are your chickens organic?
No, we are not certified organic. Our birds are raised on pasture with lots of quality food, fresh air, and bugs, but we have not gone through the process of being certified organic.
Can I visit your farm?
For the sake of biosecurity, we cannot allow visitors. Our flocks are very important to us and we can't risk a bug being carried into the breeding flocks.
Can my kids help with the chickens?
Absolutely! It's important that the next generation knows where their food comes from, and it's not from an aisle in the grocery! Kids and hens get along well, so long as your kids are old enough to know not to tease the chickens. They can peck to defend themselves if they're cornered or afraid. A frightened hen will also flap her wings violently to get away, which can be unpleasant and frightening for a child. The larger breeds can almost look a toddler in the eye, so be sure to supervise everyone closely if they are playing in the yard together.
Can I feed my chickens things other than the feed your provide?
We encourage it! Chickens need a lot of variety in their diet. They like dairy, fruit, vegetables, and even occasional treats of meat or egg shells. Agricultural stores usually carry a line of chicken treats and those are great, just use them in moderation so your birds don't get overweight and stop laying. Look for mealworms, cracked corn, and scratch grains for treats or just ask us to provide you with some. Treats go a long way toward teaching your girls to come when called. Here's a chart of treat ideas to give your girls some variety in their diet: Chicken Treat Chart - The best treats for backyard chickens
I think my chicken is sick/not laying! What do I do?
Call Rent a Chicken NH right away and we'll walk you through what to do. Chickens don't usually get sick, but it can happen and acting quickly will help your girls get back to happily puttering about faster.
My hen won't get off of the nest and she growled at me! What's going on?
It sounds like you have a broody hen. This happens sometimes when a hen decides she wants to sit on her eggs and hatch them. Laying breeds rarely sit on their eggs, since it makes them stop laying and it's a pain for collecting eggss, but it sometimes happens. They won't hatch since she's never been with a rooster. Breaking a broody can be tricky. Try taking her eggs and locking her out of the nest box for a few days. If she's stubborn, give us a call and we'll help.
Can my dog be in the yard with the chickens?
While some dogs can learn to behave with chickens, we never recommend having a dog loose with chickens. Chickens are naturally prey and laying hens don't really have a chance against a dog or a cat. They can't fly well and don't run very fast. Put your chickens in their run before letting your dog out and don't let your dog harrass the chickens. Stress can cause illness and a stop in laying eggs.
Do you sell laying hens?
If we have extra hens after fulfilling all reservations, they are available for purchase. Please contact us if you're interested in purchasing a laying age hen.
I love my hens and don't want to give them back, can I keep them?
This happens a lot! We will absolutely sell the hens to you and help you arrange for a coop that is appropriate for the winter. Please contact us so we can help you make the transition from chicken renter to chicken owner.
Can I have the same hens back year after year?
All of our birds have tags and we keep track of who goes to which house. If you want the same birds back, please let us know on your reservation form and we'll make sure they come back to you in spring. Things can happen so we can't guarantee the same birds, but we will do everything we can to make sure you get your girls back come Spring. Get your reservation in early to insure your pick of birds.