RICHFIELD, Minn. – A new business is taking flight in Richfield, allowing backyard flock owners the opportunity for a stress-free vacation.
Dana and Craig Heinen launched a flock-sitting business, where they offer visits and care to chickens and ducks across the metro while owners are away.
"They definitely make everything more fun!" Dana said.
The couple has owned ducks for years and have cared for chickens, too. They're backyard is complete with an elaborate coop with ponds and play areas for their ducks.
"The individual personalities kind of makes it more like a pet than like a farm animal," Craig said.
But with any pet, they learned vacations pose a problem. They figured other flock owners may have the same issue, which is why they started their flock-sitting business.
"For most properties we don't go every single day, it's usually maybe three or four days while the owners are gone, checking in and kind of cleaning up, collecting eggs, making sure everybody's safe. We have a good idea of what it looks like if a chicken or a duck is not feeling right," Craig said.
They share photos with the owners of their adventures while they're away.
"I think a lot of people are excited for the idea of having us like in their back pocket," Dana said.
The couple also offers duck encounters, allowing families to come over and interact with ducks before committing to owning one of their own.
"They can come over and we like put out blankets, we hang out with the ducks and we did a couple times where we like would dig in the dirt and find worms, and that's been really fun," she said.
They hope their business can help connect a growing community of urban backyard flock owners who also need to fly the coop from time to time.
"There's so many of us around that don't have that community that it kind of allows us to start having some conversations and learn from each other," Craig said.
The couple says they follow biosecurity measures to prevent spreading any illnesses from flock to flock. They also gather veterinarian information in case of emergency.
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