‘Flocksitting’ Startup Coop Expands to DFW to Babysit Backyard Chickens

Based in Volente, a suburb of Austin, Coop is expanding its "chicken tender" services to Dallas, Fort Worth, and other Texas cities—with flock check-ins, coop-cleaning, and even a new Smart Coop that tracks the birds' every move.

When the chickens come home to roost, who’ll look out for them? North Texans who’ve pecked into the backyard chicken trend face that quandary whenever they go on vacation, hit the road, or otherwise skedaddle. But luckily, one startup actually gives a cluck—and it’s coming to Dallas-Fort Worth to help.

Coop, based in the Austin suburb of Volente, was co-founded by CMO Jordan Barnes and CEO AJ Forsythe (seen clutching birds above). The company announced today that it’s expanding to meet the “growing demand” of home egg-farmers in DallasFort WorthAustinHouston, and San Antonio.

The startup notes that increasing numbers of Texans are raising chickens “to create nutritious food for their families, reconnect with the good ol’ dirt, tap into the homesteading lifestyle and generally live more sustainably.” That trend has been boosted by policymakers who’ve tweaked local ordinances to create “a more homesteading-friendly environment in Texas.”

So how does Coop do its thing?

‘Chicken tenders’ provide chicken-checking and coop-cleaning services 

In each Coop-served city, a group of local service providers—known as “chicken tenders”—offer two basic services.

They offer “flock check-in,” which is like dog-sitting, but for chickens. Coop guarantees that birds will be fed and hydrated while owners are away, “including fresh feed and water, supervised ranging and play, egg collection, perimeter and predator checks, and photo updates to ensure the happiness and safety of your flock.”

They also offer “coop refresh”: at-home detailing for backyard coops “to ensure a hygienic hen haven”. Service includes waste bagging and removal, double dry scrubbing of all surfaces, bedding, nesting and ground cover replacement, and feeder and waterer cleanout. All work is performed with before and after photos, with all materials provided.

“We’re thrilled to enable the Tenders to provide a diverse range of services that cater to the distinct requirements of backyard chicken owners,” Paul Iliya, who’s building Coop’s marketplace for services, said in a statement. “The Tenders are chicken nuts just like us and possess vast hands-on expertise that more than guarantees superior coop and flock care. Recognizing the profound love and connection customers hold for their chickens, our Tenders’ aim is to offer them absolute assurance whenever they need it.”

Marketing what Coop calls ‘the first-ever smart chicken coop’

Coop’s smart chicken coop. [Photo: Coop]

Coop is in the coop-selling business, too. In March, after two years of what it called stealth development, Coop announced production of “the first-ever smart chicken coop,” complete with smart-home technology. 

Built with double-walled recyclable plastic in the same technique behind YETI coolers, the coop offers Run & Roost cams for a “birds-eye-view” of all the action inside and out,  24/7. Smart motion alerts, event recording, and night vision are also built in. A smart door automatically opens the coop at sunrise and closes at sunset, while compostable litter trays molded to fit the coop floor “allow for 30-second coop cleanouts.”

You can find out more about Coop and its services by going here

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