According to CNNMoney, in Portland, Ore., a city known for its deep do-it-yourself streak and poultry-permissive laws, two backyard farmers have stepped up to meet an unusual need: watching hens when their owners go on vacation.
In May, Rhonda Piasecki, 43, and Sharon Rowland, 35, launched Just Us Hens, which they believe is the nation’s first chicken-sitting service. The business partners, who each boast a full roost of laying hens (four for Piasenki; eight for Rowland), met last year working at Portland’s Urban Farm Store.
The women teamed up to offer a slate of services: $15 per visit for hen sitting, $25 for hen health house calls and $50 an hour for consultations on urban agriculture. In late May, they launched a blog, followed by a full website in early July. They also publicized their services at Portland’s online chicken chat group, PDXBackyardChix, which has more than 1,000 members.
The fledgling company has only a handful of customers. But as word passes through Portland’s substantial population of urban hen keepers, they hope Just Us Hens will take off.
Photo by Just Us Hens.