Rocklands Farm’s Rent a Chick program offers instruction and supplies for the care and feeding of the chicks.
For a unusual family experience, why not rent a chick? Actually, two baby chickens, little hatchlings, fluffy, yellow and full of peeps and poop.
Play that last part down. The chicks are only rented for one week. This year, April 14 through 21.
For the last several years, Rocklands Farm in Poolesville has celebrated Spring and new life with its Rent a Chick program.
“I think this is the sixth, maybe the fifth year,” said Greg Glenn, co-founder and farm manager at Rocklands Farm. “The premise is to give families the opportunity to learn how precious life is. It is an opportunity for young children and families to know where their food comes from and it is a very effective and simple solution for parents to give their children the responsibility of having a pet.”
The program is turn key, he said.
The chicks come with everything needed for a week of living off the farm: a box for their home, bedding, feed, two dishes, one for food, the other for water. And instructions.
“We train you when you pick up,” Glenn said.
Rocklands Farm gets chickens, about 500 chicks per batch, which are pasture raised for food. But first they get a start away from the farm.
About 250 chicks are rented out each year and most come back to the farm after their week-long home stay.
There is a very low death rate for the chicks that leave the farm.
“It’s a smaller death loss than if we were to raise them,” Glenn said. “We find that with families getting just two little chicks, they pay attention to detail, [the chicks] do better.”
Glenn also said they have had a lot of positive feedback about the program.
“The most incredible feedback from families and kids is really the understanding of life,” he said.
The cost for the chick rental is $30 for the week. Pick up is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 14 with return for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. the next Saturday, April 21 at the farm, 14525 Montevideo Road, Poolesville.
If those dates don’t work, Rocklands Farm also has a Summer Duckling Rental program scheduled for June 30-July 7.
For more information and to make a reservation for either chicks or ducklings, visit the farm’s website: rocklandsfarmmd.com, select education at the top right then chick rental.