Want to try out raising chickens? You can, thanks to this Sebastopol archaeologist


In the system of our lives, most of us have at 1 time or one more rented a car or truck, or an apartment, or maybe a pair of skis.

But a rooster?

Not likely.

Eric Strother of Sebastopol desires to adjust that.

Strother, who by day performs as an archaeologist, released Hire Yard Hens in January, as a way to introduce others to his fondness for the fowl lifestyle.

“I’m a geek when it will come to chickens,” he claimed. “I love the whole ambiance of them. They are just funny. I would enjoy to share them with men and women who really don’t have that practical experience.”

But heading hog wild with chickens is a determination — of time, of income, of care — so Strother adopted a product that is thriving in other areas of the nation: hen rentals.

Strother claimed he listened to a piece on NPR about hen rental companies popping up on the East Coastline.

“People were being genuinely digging it,” he explained. “I Googled to see if anyone was performing something out below on the West Coast and I did not see nearly anything.”

Strother claimed he did “a minimal sector research” and received to building some portable coops.

He’s now bought 15 Golden Comet hens that he’s raised from infancy and now rents out two at a time.

Customers can rent a handcrafted moveable coop that seems midway like a barn, midway like a tractor two egg-laying hens a watering product and adequate feed and bedding to last the rental interval.

Strother rents in nine Bay Place counties for durations in between one and three months.

In Sonoma County, hens (not roosters) are authorized in most locations, barring Rohnert Park, he said.

And he’s keen to assist shoppers make sure they reside in a area in which owning yard chickens is Ok. He also aids them navigate what principles are in location for how lots of and wherever they can be housed.

Matters like owners association covenants can have an impact on who can keep yard chickens.

He also carefully suggests checking in with neighbors to choose their temperature on the notion.

That claimed, chickens are credited by some as being a neighborhood bond. They seem to be to conveniently draw child love and conversation at a time when a lot of persons could use a shot of both of those.

If you enjoy the hen life, Strother encourages customers to graduate into elevating chicks of their personal and crafting a far more long lasting coop.

And for those for whom the partnership is not all they dreamed of? That is Ok, much too. They can only return the hens and coop — no hurt, no fowl.

“Some persons want that expertise,” Strother mentioned. “Some people today want the practical experience of the companionship of pet hens, some men and women want to test it out to see if they want their individual chickens.”

And some folks, in this age of soaring grocery costs, are interested in a pair of refreshing eggs every single early morning.

“Once you have had eggs from your individual hen, it’s really tricky to go back to retailer purchased,” Strother explained. “They flavor diverse, they are much healthier.”

But opportunity renters need to also consider matters like predators, property routine maintenance and even one thing like avian flu, which is causing havoc on chickens in some locations.

But on the full, holding yard chickens is getting level of popularity.

Rooster possession took off all through the pandemic, according to AARPP, which chronicled the pattern.

The pandemic induced numerous to rethink the place they lived and how they lived. Additional persons were at home, a lot more men and women have been cooking and baking and a lot more persons sought companionship in the course of isolation from other factors of “normal” everyday living.

Chickens check out all the packing containers, Strother explained.

“They make good pets,” he claimed. “They have amusing small personalities, they recall you. They are hilarious.”

Furthermore, have you at any time noticed a rooster run? It is a temper lifter for absolutely sure.

But like some pets, they have to have a little minding. Turns out chickens acquire the idea of totally free assortment really very seriously.

“They are opportunists,” Strother mentioned. “Tomatoes, strawberries, they will go just after blueberries. If you want an space pristine, retain the chickens away from them.”

Glenn Ouye lives in Bennett Valley and has by no means owned chickens. He was curious, so he went for it as a result of Strother’s Hire Backyard Hens.

But he also had what he known as “ulterior motives”: weeds.

Turns out Ouye had a patch he could not look to tame, so he believed hens could do the trick.

They did.

“They liked the weeds. It was wonderful,” Ouye stated.

But Ouye arrived to be fully entertained by his new small backyard workhorses.

“They are very curious,” he mentioned. “They occur jogging up to you. We’d sit outdoors and chat to them.”

“They want to be the place you are,” he reported. “If you are outside in a chair, they want to be type of correct close to you. It is form of amazing, seriously.”

Ouye’s two chihuahuas got alongside with them very well ample. Just one didn’t give them the time of working day and the other was afraid of them. The dynamic manufactured for fine garden mates.

Strother claimed chickens do properly with domesticated pets, but he instructed staying watchful over the marriage.

Ouye’s only dig on his new close friends was their individual cleanliness at situations.

“They poop in which they try to eat. They poop anywhere they want,” he claimed.

But it was easy plenty of to sweep up, he stated.

Strother’s hens have experienced their wings clipped, so they won’t just take flight into a neighbor’s garden. But they are equipped to pop up onto home furnishings or very low lying fences and posts.

Primarily they consume, wander close to and hang out.

Strother provides shoppers his cellphone amount, in scenario they operate into difficulties with the hens. It has not occurred.

Instead, he will get texts with images and films of the hens performing wacky points.

“They are hilarious,” he reported

Ouye agrees. When he returned his two hens to Lease Backyard Hens right after the rental time period finished, he didn’t right away take into account going out and buying his very own.

But he may possibly. He’s nevertheless considering about it. Which is particularly what Strother meant.

“It’s entertaining,” Ouye mentioned. “It’s a truly superior expertise and you are not committed endlessly.”

You can get to Staff members Columnist Kerry Benefield at 707-526-8671 or kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @benefield.



Source website link