Rent the Chicken: A Hill Country Family Affair

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Photos by Shannon Salas

After driving through several small Texas towns, into the woods, and down an old dusty gravel road that never seems to end, you’ll find a quaint little homestead complete with chickens, ducks, goats, bees, and barn cats. At first glance, this homestead may not seem any different than any other homestead in Texas, but upon closer observation, you’ll find it is anything but a traditional farm operation.

rent the chicken

The Gose Family and their flock. Back (from left to right): Brad, Mitch (14), and Suzanne. Front row: Audie (9), Liesel (8), Jake (12), Annagail (11).

Upon arriving at the homestead, you are greeted by the most welcoming of Texas families. Brad and Suzanne Gose, surrounded by their five extremely well-mannered children: Mitch, Audie, Liesel, Jake, and Annagail, left their traditional life in Bryan, Texas to live a simpler more sustainable life in the country just outside of Milano. Brad, a U.S. Marine and a former mechanical engineer and inventor, and his wife Suzanne, a former public school teacher, purchased their 15-acre homestead to fulfill a life long dream. Now the couple enjoys a much simpler lifestyle, minus all the noise and chaos of the city, all while homeschooling their beautiful children. Neither Brad or Suzanne are employed in the traditional sense. So, how do they support themselves? In today’s world, it isn’t feasible to generate enough income to support a family of seven with just a handful of chickens and goats. Or is it?

rent the chicken

A tour of the back lot will lead you first to the cutest handcrafted chicken coops with a couple of almost-ready-to-lay hens peaking out at you, probably half wondering who you are and what you are doing there. The top of the ingeniously designed chicken home pushes back to reveal two nesting boxes neatly lined with hay. The coop also doubles as a chicken tractor, allowing it to be moved around to fresh grass, complete with a tucked away hideaway spot for chickens to roost at night without the fear of predators getting in. Stenciled on one end of the coop is a web address: Yes, you read that right, the Gose family rents out chickens.

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