VOLENTE, Texas (KXAN) — As egg prices continue to climb, one Austin-based business is seeing a flock of prospective customers come to them for backyard chicken cooping expertise.

Coop is an Austin-based business that specializes in chicken coop cleaning, chicken sitting and beginners courses for those new to the backyard hobby. The business is set to officially launch this March, but that hasn’t stopped prospective customers from reaching out about beginners chicken cooping courses.

In the past month alone, Coop has seen a 20% spike in people inquiring about the classes. Co-founders Jordan Barnes and AJ Forsythe said the 90-minute classes lay the foundations for how to effectively raise chickens.

The course provides the typical tools — chicken feed, gloves, shovels and other essentials — chicken farmers will need, as well as outlining dietary and water needs and how to read chickens’ body language or decipher between various “clucks.”

“One of the reasons people think that they can’t get into chickens is this knowledge gap, and so we are trying to fill that gap and help people just do a quick crash course,” Barnes said. “And they can start creating their own food supply.”

Both Barnes and Forsythe said this latest surge in interest could be due to a host of factors, including the new year health mentality some people go through following the holiday season.

However, with the outbreak of avian influenza and a 60% increase in egg costs, Forsythe said he’s especially passionate about making backyard chicken cooping more accessible for people throughout Central Texas.

“It’s a travesty that everyone’s talking about eggs right now, because there’s so many birds that are dying from avian flu,” he said. “But at the same time, I think this is a good watershed moment for people to take food, growing their own food in their backyard into their own hands with their families.”

In addition to the cost savings of homegrown eggs, both Barnes and Forsythe said backyard eggs boast significant nutritional benefits compared to mass-produced eggs sold in stores:

  • 20 times the amount of beta carotene
  • 25% more Vitamin B
  • 25% less cholesterol

Along with its “Intro to Chickens 101” courses, Coop will also offer coop cleaning and backyard babysitting services for owners away from their homes.

“We believe in a world where anyone should be able to own their own food supply,” Forsythe said. “I’m super, super excited to show the world what we’re building here shortly.”