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Transom stories: Want backyard chickens? Rent-A-Chicken won't make you wing it

Nora Boydell
Leslie Suitor hangs out with her chickens at her Rent-A-Chicken farm in Traverse City.

People who want backyard chickens in Michigan have the option to do it part-time through a business called Rent-A-Chicken. Leslie Suitor and her husband operate the business in Traverse City.

"I love telling kids that chickens are the closest living relative to the T-Rex," Suitor says, "and you can see the gears start turning and the kids [say], 'Well, oh my gosh, I’ve got a dinosaur in the backyard. This might be really cool after all.'"

Renters typically get laying hens in the warmer months. Then Rent-A-Chicken cares for them over the winter.

"We call them our girls," says Suitor, "and the people that fall madly in love with theirs ... We’ll tag their girls and they can get their same girls back." 

Rent-A-Chicken now has suppliers all over the country.

Nora Boydell is a talent and training advisor at Real Food for Real Kids in Toronto. She came to Interlochen in June for the Transom Traveling Workshop taught by Rob Rosenthal.