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Tuesday, November 26, 2013 | Latest audio lessons → VOA Learning English

City People Try Raising Farm Birds

From VOA Learning English, this is the Agriculture Report.

Raising chickens is gaining popularity in some American cities. Poultry farming may not be right for everyone, but the business seems to have a bright future. Collecting eggs is a daily pleasure for the Hurst family in the state of Maryland. Naomi Hurst says her family started to raise chickens behind their house a month ago. She says they had considered it before but did not have time to learn how to build a shelter for the birds. Then they learned about a company called Rent a Coop. Rent a Coop is a chicken rental business. It provides a chicken shelter on wheels, two egg-laying hens, feed, bedding, and water and feeding bowls.

VOA Learning English
Tyler Phillips launched the company with a partner 18 months ago. They promise to answer questions on what they call a 24-hour chicken hotline. The materials and the chickens and the telephone service cost $185 for four weeks. After the four weeks have passed, customers can extend the rental agreement, return everything, or purchase the chickens and supplies. Mr. Philips says the company sets up an average of 12 to 15 chicken coops every month. He designs and makes the coops -- buildings where the birds are kept. He says he uses many recycled materials so as to do as little damage as possible to the environment.

The Hursts hope their farm teaches their daughter to be caring and responsible about farm animals. Naomi Hurst says when they pick up the eggs they always say, "thank you, ladies." Some cities require people to have large pieces of land if they want to raise farm animals. Tyler Phillips expects that will change as interest grows in small chicken coops.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Laurel Bowman.

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