Offbeat

The Chicken Hotel: Hens Are Our Business

David Roberts, a businessman from the Cornish coast of England, has gone where no one, not even the Perdue kings have dared to tread, to make pampered hens comfortable in a hotel with five-star service while their owners are away.

The 31 year-old entrepreneur came up with the idea of establishing a haven for hens in response to the growing trend of people raising their own hens and keeping them as pets rather than eating them for Sunday dinner.

Contemporaries all laughed at his idea just as those who warned Christopher Columbus he would fall off the side of the flat earth dare he venture outside that proverbial box of conventional thinking.

All men and women should be judged by the times in which they lived, and no one is laughing at David now. His business, which is on his farm in Helston, is doing so well that all “the rooms” are booked as far ahead as Christmas.

Feathered guests are treated with dignity and respect. During the day they parade freely around the fox-proof grounds. At night, they are gently rounded up and put to bed in their luxury coops. (Presently, no one reads a bed-time story to them, but that may well be in the works as a future amenity.)

Mr. Roberts and his partner, Ariel Roukaerts, built the accommodations and run the chicken hotel. Rates begin at £2 per coop per night plus a separate fee for the chicken’s meals.

Five-star service is the mantra of the chicken hotel, and David even transports the birds to and from their homes if the owners require it. He also goes that extra mile by offering a nursery for chicks and an incubation service for eggs that need hatching.

It would appear that one has to be lucky even to be born a chicken.

Certainly not a life to squawk about!

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