Want chickens with your Airbnb? Locally Laid is at your service

WRENSHALL, Minnesota — The owners of a popular northern Minnesota egg company are offering chicken curious people a chance to escape to a vacation spot with their flock.

Jason and Lucie Amundsen recently posted their listings on Airbnb — or “Airb-n-bawk,” as its keepers kindly call the new rustic getaways built on their northern Minnesota farm — the home of the Locally laid eggs. A stay costs between $60 and $170 a night and comes with optional chores from cleaning chicken coops to bringing eggs to the farmers market. According to Lucie Amundsen, guests who check off items on the chore board get some Locally Laid swag, but there’s no shame in lounging around.

It was a boon for the Amundsens, who recently went out to dinner while guests put the chickens to bed. They also didn’t need to set an alarm for the next morning.

“So rare”, admitted Lucie Amundsen.

Since the listing was released, she said, they’ve booked guests every day.

The opening of new spaces — the perch is a tree house style loft and the nest is a bunk in an active co-op – coinciding with the company’s 10th anniversary, but it’s an idea Lucie Amundsen said she’s been thinking about since reading about guests at an Airbnb in Scotland who slept in an apartment above a bookstore where they worked during the day.

“I’ve been telling Jason for years that we could do a version of this and it would exploit all these people who want to show off deliciously on the farm,” she said.

Locally Laid was a backyard poultry hobby that over the past decade has become a source of eggs for regional and Twin Cities-based stores and co-ops. The company partners with eight other farms with farming methods that match their own, where the chickens are free to roam on rotating pastures. The cheeky name is on the mark of the team which favors puns and a touch of irreverence. At a recent beer festival, the owners of the company held Chicken Poo Bingo.

Le Perch is a small house about 5 feet above the ground. There’s no running water or stove, but there are water jugs, portable burners, and an omelet station in the small kitchen. It can accommodate five people and has a trapezoidal window and a terrace that overlook the pasture.

“I think one of the coolest things people can do is wake up half an hour after sunrise, open the doors and 400 chickens come out,” Lucie Amundsen said. “Free the birds.”

To that end, there’s an old-school hand-cranked red rooster alarm clock on the nightstand.

Customers have access to a hammock and a fire pit, bins for work clothes and shoes, a solar shower and an outbuilding.

The Nest is the most minimalist option. It’s a one-room dormitory, just a thick pane of glass from the Lolas – the universal name the Amundsens gave to their chickens and a truncated version of the company name.

The space was born out of the need for a new chicken coop – and an idea to make it versatile.

“Why don’t we build something that’s two-thirds for people and one-third for chickens,” recalls Jason Amundsen. “Some kind of idea of ​​sleeping with the birds came to fruition.”

He was determined to create a well-sealed habitat where visitors could see the chickens as if they were in an aquarium, but not smell them.

Lucie Amundsen put the finishing touches on the spaces shortly before the first guests arrived last weekend. She tidied up linens decorated with chickens, set up a gingham tablecloth on the picnic table, and backed up the chore list on the chalkboard.

The Wynn family, in town from St. Paul for a baseball tournament, brought five guests, including three children ages 8 to 16. Courtney Wynn said she had trouble finding a reasonably priced hotel in Duluth for the weekend. A follower of “glamping”, a camping trend in which amenities are provided, he liked the registration.

“We’re going to raise chickens a bit and get to the tournament,” she said, adding that it would be a change from the hotel pool between games.

Wynn later posted a positive review on Airbnb about lasting memories and accommodating hosts, though she warned guests to bring cleaning wipes and insect repellent.

The Amundsens, who moved from office jobs to the acreage more than a decade ago, have always been transparent about the ups and downs of life on the farm. by Lucia Amundsen memory“Locally Laid: How We Built a Plucky, Industry-Changing Egg Farm – From Scratch”, is the story that begins with her husband’s wild idea to buy a bunch of chickens and his own initial reluctance.

Airb-n-bawk is another way to reach future farmers, said Lucie Amundsen. The hosts are on hand to answer questions about, as they call it, “the egg onomy” behind this level of farming. Hands-on experience, in the guise of a weekend getaway, could make or break a great idea.

“I think it cements the dream of poultry moving forward,” said Lucie Amundsen, “or it will be the agricultural contraception I was desperately looking for 10 years ago.”

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