Egg-splosion of interest in rent-a-chicken

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By Crystal Nelson

LOCHBUIE — Jim Perry and Jann Symons didn’t quite know what they were getting into when they launched their rent-a-chicken business at Henny Penny Farm. In the the few weeks since opening, the couple has taken hundreds of phone calls, have 30 customers committed for this year and have started a waiting list for when their set up launches again next year. 

Jann’s Henny Penny Farm gives city dwellers an opportunity to discover what it’s like to have chickens without the hassle. Henny Penny Farm provides its customers with everything they need to get their chicken coop up and running – a chicken coop, two hens, the feed, the water, and the necessary accessories. 

“It gives people the chance to experience chickens, not only for the eggs, but for a unique pet, because chickens really do make good pets,” Symons said. 

For an annual fee of $400, customers can experience “fair weather farming,” where the set up is delivered in the spring and picked up in the fall. Symons explained they take care of the chickens during the winter months, which can be difficult, as they need more protection from the elements and a little more care in general. 

Symons and Perry decided to start the business after seeing a similar business on Craigs List. They contacted Leslie Suitor in Traverse City, Mich who started Rent-a-Chicken worked out an agreement so they could use her logo and become Rent-a-Chicken in the Metro Denver area. 

“We thought it was a novel idea, something that would work given the population base in Denver,” she said, adding that most cities in the Metro Denver area now allow residents to have hens in their backyard. “We saw this as an opportunity to give people the chance to try it before they invested all the money to buy it, that kind of thing.”

Perry said as soon as Suitor made an announcement on social media, they were contacted by the media and things “blew up like a balloon.” The couple has delivered set ups to customers as far North as Loveland and as far South as Monument and are still making deliveries.

“It’s amazing how much joy we’ve been bringing to people in doing this,” Perry said. “These people are having so much fun with it, it’s unbelievable.” 

Although they’ve been in operation a little over a month, they’re already getting feed back from from their customers. Symons said some customers want to participate again next year and that they have at least 50 customers who are committed for next spring.

Other customers want to know what other services Jann’s Henny Penny Farm offers, which has got Symons thinking. She said there are other areas she is considering expanding into such as renting chicks around Easter time,  providing customers with incubators so they can watch chicks hatch, and possibly renting out fancy bantam chickens to customers who just want the chickens as pets but not for eggs.

Symons and Perry both grew up on farms but currently own a security and construction company. Symons recently retired and wanted to have chickens so she could sell their eggs but when they heard about this, they  thought they would give it a try.

“We’re always looking for something new and different to do,” Symons said. “Ultimately, we would like to sell the other two companies and do just this.” 

Perry said the last few weeks have been “unbelievable” for him.

“This is the funnest thing that I have ever done and to actually show up, and to bring this kind of joy to people, it’s been incredible,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of different things... I’m an ex-cop and I’ve showed up and its always been bad and like this, you show up and it’s all good and it’s great. I love it. I’ve just been having a ball with it.”

For more information on Jann’s Henny Penny Farm, contact Jann Symons by calling 303-870-7243 or via email at hennypennyfarm@gmail.com.