Since 2014, Nashville homeowners have been allowed to dip their toes into animal husbandry, by bringing small flocks of backyard chickens into their family. Fresh eggs and feathered friends: For some of us, it was an ordinance that couldn’t come soon enough.
In the years since, lots of Nashvillians in neighborhoods all across the city have adopted and raised many a flock (hens specifically, no roosters), particularly in top chicken-loving neighborhoods like Inglewood and Antioch. But recently, interest in urban chickens has seemed to wane, with the number of Nashville backyard hen permits declining significantly.
The reason for the declining interest, some think: newbie backyard chicken owners not really understanding what they’re in for, from dedicated watering and feeding to fending off predators and disease.
“The challenges washed away many first-time chicken farmers,” a WPLN story said.
There are plenty of ways to learn the ins and outs — from literature provided by the city and passionate Nashville chicken bloggers/advocates to websites devoted entirely to the subject of backyard chickens.
But how do you know if raising hens is really for you, without actually trying it?
Testing out backyard chicken rearing in Nashville
Solution: the aptly named Rent the Chicken.
The organization, with providers based in cities all across North America, helps homeowners with everything they need to get started on raising backyard chickens: an easily movable chicken coop, chicken feed, dishes, guidance and, of course, the hens.
Our Middle Tennessee reps, Lascassas-based homesteaders RayLee and Bubba, can deliver and set up (and later, pick up) your whole backyard chicken situation in Nashville, Murfreesboro, Franklin or Brentwood, for either of two spring/fall rental periods: April to October, or May to November.
You’ll also get a care guide, a copy of flock-keeping info book Fresh Eggs Daily by Lisa Steele, and support of a pro organization in case one of your hens gets sick.
If the experience is a little too much for you, your hen parenting period can wrap up easily, with Rent the Chicken picking everything up in the fall. But if you fall in love with backyard hen rearing — and your rental hens, specifically — there’s an option to adopt too.
Since some of our team members are big animal lovers (and egg lovers), but we also have to accept that our jobs are demanding, we thought Rent the Chicken was a really interesting and fun option to see if backyard chickening might fit in our lives. And we thought some of our Middle Tennessee homeowner friends and clients would too. (NewsChannel 5 brought it to our attention.)
You can learn more about Middle Tennessee Rent the Chicken options at rentthechicken.com. If you do end up renting a flock, we hope you’ll share some photos and tag us on Facebook or Instagram — we’d love to see how your hen experiment/potential new passion unfolds.
If you need to find a Nashville-area home before you move on to backyard chickens, we can definitely help. Reach ACRE here, or start your Nashville househunting process by filling out this quick form.