MPC Folks and Their Flocks of Chickens November 18, 2016 No Comments

Whether you are new to My Pet Chicken, new to chickens, a chicken breeder, or an old pro, you’re probably very interested to learn about the flocks of other people as soon as you hear someone say they have chickens. Flock of chickens, you say? Tell me more!

Sometimes people ask me what I have because they want to compare flocks, and other times they ask me because they want an idea of what breeds I have and why I chose them. All chicken people eventually have this conversation with someone, and most of the MPC crew has this conversation daily!

For those who know us or want to get to know us, you can tell a lot about each of us by the flocks we keep. Here is your chance to meet MPC employees and their flocks that can tell you a lot about them!

I’ll start us off on this journey through the lives of the MPC family, and their feathered friends:


Shannon’s Flock of Chickens

I’m Shannon from North Carolina and I currently have a flock of 17 chickens. We keep ducks as well. Our chickens don’t free range as we seem to have a serious coyote problem.

My birds range in age (1 year to 9 years old) as I add a few every year. Occasionally we keep a rescue, hatch our own birds or buy directly from MPC. However, we do trade birds sometimes and rehome birds that just never seem to fit into the flock dynamics. We need to keep the peace.

Currently we have one rooster, a splash Olive Egger named Pongo, and a mix of bantams and standard breeds. Cochins are our absolute favorites. I fall for birds with fuzzy feet every time. The rest are a mix of silkies, cochins (standard and bantam), Olive Eggers,  Cuckoo Bluebar, Lavender Orpington, Welsummer and Black Copper Marans. We of course don’t stop with chickens. We keep ducks, a bunny, cats and our bird loving dog, Porsche.

Porsche protects her chicks

Porsche protects her chicks


 

Julie’s Flock of Chickens

I’m Julie and I have 5 chickens in my flock (but will be adding more as soon as I can!). I have two Plymouth Barred Rocks, an Olive Egger, an Ameraucana, and a Black Copper Marans. My Barred Rocks were part of my original flock, but now I like to choose breeds based on egg color. My favorite chicken would be one of my Barred Rocks, Big Mama. She started my chicken journey with me and loves to take naps on my lap!


Robin’s Flock of Chickens

I’m Robin, I currently have 17 chickens — half of them roos!  They are from our “Fun and Funky” group, and hatched out a few months ago.  My absolute favorite is Apple Blossom, a visually challenged Ameriflower, and her side kick, Dawn Mist.  They live in their own coop (our Clubhouse) on my back deck.  We enjoy watching them bond together, and their interactions with the other animals on our mini-farm.


Jordana’s Flock of Chickens

Jordana's White Easter Egger

Jordana’s Pure White Easter Egger Hen

I’m Jordana and a total chickenista! I love the range of color, traits and personality that chickens come in, not just the lovely eggs. Our eastern NC flock has more chickens than I dare count, but its somewhere in the 40-50 ballpark and consists of cochins, brahmas, blue laced red wyandottes, buff polish, easter eggers, Swedish flower hens, silver cuckoo marans, salmon faverolles, lavender orpingtons and an australorp.

Over the years I have owned nearly all of the common breeds and a few of the rare. My favorites are heavy breeds that don’t mind staying where I put them (and out of the garden!) who are friendly and personable. The cochins are an absolute favorite with their cute little “bloomers” and are always the center of discussion. Our oldest hen is a white easter egger by the name of Captain Munch who is 4 years old. She is the best momma there is and will even adopt chicks that are 4 weeks old, goslings and ducklings too!



Cassandra’s Flock of Chickens

I’m Cass and I live in North Texas where I have several flocks of chickens, numbering anywhere close to 60. I have 8 coops (and counting), 1 garage brooder and 3 indoor chick brooders, as well as 3 incubators.

My husband and I are collectors and NPIP certified breeders of Icelandic chickens, Svart Hona, BBS Isbars, Blue Ameraucana, Ayam Cemani, Orust, Olandsk Dwarf, Black Copper and Blue Marans, Jubilee Orpingtons and your run of the mill Easter & Olive Eggers. I have 1 ‘Golden Comet’ and 1 Barred Rock left from my original flock, they are my old cranky ladies. I only free range my flock of Icelandic chickens (strains from all four imported lines and straight from David Grote). We are currently running a few projects including Fibro Easter Eggers and our own form of Swedish Blue Hens. We like to play around with genes a lot so if any one has any questions and Alex isn’t available, I can definitely try to help to the best of my knowledge!

Fun fact: Apart from my chicken obsession, I’ve also raised more than 110 baby barn owls at my Wildlife Rescue in the last year. I will share photos of those later. 🙂

 


Judi’s Flock of Chickens

I’m Judi and I got my first chickens when I got my first horse about 34 years ago but it wasn’t until I retired in 2010 that I really got into chickens BIG TIME!

At the current time, I have the following breeds:  Tolbunt Polish (my personal favorites!), Salmon Faverolles, Gold Laced Polish, Buff Laced Polish, Silver Laced Polish, Appenzeller Spitzhauben, Blue and Black Copper Marans, Partridge Cochins, Buff Brahmas, Blue Splash Marans, and Seramas, the world’s smallest chicken.  I have about seven or eight odd roosters in with 20-25 assorted hens.  I call that group my General Population, and they are my egg layers.  I have been NPIP certified and AI clean for 4+ years also.

I also have a pair of Black Shouldered Blue Indigo Peacocks, a Bourbon Red male turkey named Turkey Boy, and a mixed turkey hen that he’s anxious to meet up close and personal.  I also have a flock of guinea hens, 2 Peking Ducks, plus 2 other ducks, about 13 assorted geese, and 2 Egyptian Geese.  I don’t want to forget my 2 Thoroughbred geldings and my 3 pot bellied pigs, Ella, Peppa, and Miss Pickles.

I like regular large fowl breeds—the bigger the better.   I incubate in my laundry room, and I have 5 brooders that the chicks move through as they grown, until they are big enough to go outside in the peacock pen, and then they are moved to the breeding pens or General Population.  There is nothing so calming as spending time out at the barn and working with all my babies. Lots of them have names, and my best ever favorite rooster name was “Cluck Norris.”

[Editor’s Note: That may be my favorite rooster name, now, too! -Ll]


Deb’s Flock of Chickens

I’m Deb and I live in Mississippi.  I have seven hens (Easter Eggers, Black Copper Marans, and a Cochin) and five Seramas.  We initially selected chickens for the egg colors and got the Seramas for their tiny size.  We don’t get a lot of eggs but, the ones we do get are gorgeous.

Also… Serama babies. You have to love them.

debs_babies

LOOOOOOK how tiny!!!!!


Lauren’s Flock of Chickens

I’m Lauren and I’m a chick-aholic. We currently have 31 in our flock; we’ve got 30 hens and are down to one rooster who was the only one hatched out in our coop. His name is Uno.

Our breeds include: Silkies, Polish, Easter Eggers, Speckled Sussex, Cochins, Seramas, Orpingtons, Brahmas, Jersey Giants, Marans, Wyandottes, Barnevelder, Leghorn and Australorps. We originally started with three Easter Eggers for my little girl. They were docile and we loved the idea of getting colored eggs. I would have to say that my favorite is my Buff Silkie though name Beaker. She loves to follow me around and come in the house to get treats.

Lauren's Silkie

Lauren’s Silkie


Les’s Flock of Chickens

I’m Les and I’m an addict, chicken addict that is. We currently have 27 chickens of which 6 are roosters. That’s too many roos! Does anyone want a couple?

I’ve raised chickens most of my life. I grew up on a farm in Oregon. My wife is from the Dominican Republic where everyone has chickens. Our flock fluctuates from 20 to 30 chickens and is made up of Easter Eggers, Wyandottes, Orpingtons, Marans, Rocks, Silkies, Cochins, a few d’Uccles and various crosses. Most came from MPC except those which were hatched here, no telling what sort of mix they’ll end up being. We have them mainly so that we can have healthy eggs, and of course we love them as pets.

 


Jason’s Flock of Chickens

Hey there!  I’m Jason up here in Massachusetts.  I’ve had chickens about 5 years now, and have a small flock of (currently!) 7 chickens.  I say currently because chicken math is a real thing, people!  Every week my finger hovers over that “over hatch” list, just itching to order! I have all different breeds (and yes, all but one are from My Pet Chicken!) and I mostly set out to get a few fresh eggs and see some variety running around my back yard.  I have a White Crested Black Polish, Buff Brahma Bantam, Golden Laced Wyandotte (who just showed up in the yard one day and refused to leave), Easter Egger, Speckled Sussex, Welsummer, and a teeny tiny little Bantam Easter Egger that rules the roost!  Really, she’s almost the size of a quail.  She and the Wyandotte, the biggest and the smallest, are besties and always range off together.

Jason's picture ready Polish

Jason’s picture ready Polish

I already have my list together for my next order, and I’m waiting for the Spring dates to be announced just like all of you!

Forest’s Flock of Chickens

Hi there, I’m Forest and live in Connecticut. I currently have over 25 chickens. The breeds I have are Buff Orpington, Chocolate Orpington, Svart Hona, Ameraucana, Golden Buff, Favaucana, Polish, Australorp, Cream Legbar, Ameriflower, and Blue Sex Links.

I like a well-rounded flock so I chose my breeds based on personality, egg laying ability, color, and rate. I love a colorful flock and a colorful egg basket. My favorite chickens are my Splash Ameraucana—she is a total cuddle bug and often comes to work with me and my Svart Hona, there is something just magical about her and the breed. I like to give all my chickens names and I usually let the different children in my life pick out chicken names.

Forest's Sweet Pippi Svart Hona

Forest’s Sweet Svart Hona, Pippi


Christina’s Flock of Chickens

Christina's Gorgeous Flock

Christina’s Gorgeous Flock

I’m Christina from Western Pennsylvania. I’ve been hovering around 35 in my mixed flock- all from My Pet Chicken. I used to add breeds in pairs, but realized quickly that doubling chicken math is not a sustainable practice.

I’m currently keeping a Black Australorp, Double-Laced Barnevelder, Buff and Light Brahma, Buckeye, Delaware, Silver Gray Dorking, Exchequer Leghorn, Light Brown Leghorn, Black Copper Marans, Blue Copper Marana, Blue Splash Marans, Golden Cuckoo Marans, Silver Cuckoo Marans, Blue Orpington, Buff Orpington, and Lavender Orpington, Rhode Island Red, Barred Plymouth Rock, Partridge Plymouth Rock, White Plymouth Rock, Welsummer, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Golden Laced Wyandotte, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Easter Egger, Blue Easter Egger, Olive Egger, and Super Blue Egg Layer… but who’s keeping track?

I’m looking forward to adding some Chocolate Orpingtons and Ameriflowers in the near future! My Buff Chantecler rooster was a surprise, but is the most charming fellow I’ve met. He spends his days dancing and showing off for his girls, all while keeping a watchful eye for their safety.

Early on, it was my intention to stick with heritage breeds. I’ve since come to realize the value of designer hybrids, bred for temperament rather than working toward a physical breed standard. Personality goes a long way in building a fun and interesting backyard flock. I definitely look forward to seeing how my flock evolves over time.

I love having a variety of birds in different shapes, colors, and patterns. I enjoy being able to watch all their chicken drama unfold from my breakfast table and it helps to know who’s who from a distance. I adore the wonderful variety of egg colors that my girls provide, but I had enough eggs 20 chickens ago. It’s obviously all about the birds at this point!


Amy’s Flock of Chickens

Greetings from Connecticut! I’m Amy and I tell customers that you never know where your love of chickens might take you! I started off with 12 heritage breeds in 2013 and now my husband and I own a farm that specializes in selling pullets for backyard flocks and non-GMO, pasture-raised eggs. We currently have over 300 birds and I love caring for them, reintroducing heritage breeds, and helping people establish their own backyard flocks.

There are so many different personalities and characteristics to choose from. Some of my favorites are Orpingtons, for their affectionate personalities and beauty, and Leghorns because they are both intrepid and tremendous layers. I also have a real soft spot for my boys (about 12 at the moment). Roosters can get such a bad rap, but they too can be very sweet when they are handled from a young age.

I have experience with just about every breed in my flock and just adore the variety… especially in egg color. When I collect eggs every day for my customers it is like a bouquet. Raising chickens is tremendously rewarding experience and I cannot recommend enough giving it a try! Peace, love and chickens!

Amy and her Gorgeous Orpington

Amy and her Gorgeous Orpington

 


Tim’s Flock of Chickens

Hi – I’m Tim and I own chickens… 13 of them, all different breeds.  If it were up to me, I’d get “boring” breeds who just lay a whole bunch of eggs, but alas, I am married!  And she can’t stop her creative self, so we have Splash and White Silkies, Silver Laced and White Crested Blue Polish, Lavender and Buff Orpington, Mottled Cochin Bantam, Buff Brahma Bantam, Partridge Cochin, Blue Cochin, Speckled Sussex, Barred Plymouth Rock, and Australorp.

Partly functional and partly pretty to look at.  Kind of like my marriage!


Traci’s Flock of Chickens

Traci's flock sticking together.

Traci’s flock sticking together.

I’m Traci, currently have around 30 chickens! We have a veritable Noah’s Ark of breeds, including all of the newest from My Pet Chicken, like Cuckoo Bluebars, Super Blue Eggers, Olive Eggers, Blue Favaucanas, Blue Easter Eggers, and plenty of other rare and unusual breeds.

We test out new breeds before they hit the market for personality, egg laying, hardiness and beauty. We like every breed, but if we had to pick just one, it would be the good old Easter Egger! They’re friendly, super hardy in all temperatures, they come in a variety of colors and patterns, and they lay like rock stars! Ours have even laid eggs at up to seven years old.

Here’s a partial list of the varieties we have in our chicken flock:

  • Super Blue Eggers
  • Assorted Olive Eggers
  • White Cochins
  • White Jersey Giant
  • Welsummer Bantam
  • Easter Egger Bantams
  • Barred Plymouth Rocks
  • Blue Favaucanas
  • Salmon Favaucanas
  • Black Copper Marans
  • Blue Copper Marans
  • Easter Eggers
  • Egyptian Fayoumi
  • Buff Orpington
  • Cuckoo Bluebars
  • Black Sumatra
  • Several mutts

Karen’s Flock of Chickens

I’m Karen and I refuse to count my chickens because when my husband asks, “How many chickens do you have out there!?!?” I can truthfully answer, “I’m not sure, dear.”

When I first started keeping chickens I wanted a variety of egg colors and a variety of birds, but my flock has evolved over the years.

Right now, I have mostly Frizzled Easter Eggers, Crested Cream Legbars, Seramas and one devious Silkie girl. When my tricky little Silkie went broody (over and over) I bought her some Polish, Orpington, Brahma, Fayoumi, Leghorn, Spitzhauben, Red Star and Marans chicks from MPC to get some variety from the predominantly green eggs I’ve been getting.


Lissa’s Flock of Chickens

Lissa here! I used to have a much larger flock, and it hovered for years between 20 and 30. It has dwindled right now to about 10.  I have Salmon Favaucanas, Black Copper Marans, an Easter Egger, several silkie crosses, and a Welsummer.

When I had 30 birds, it was hard to find enough room in my fridge to store the eggs. Really, 30 chickens was WAY too many eggs for two people… but I am a victim of Chicken Math, too.

My flock of chickens includes pumpkins? Salmon Favaucana chicken in a row of pumpkins

One of these things is not like the others, hahaha. My molting Favaucana, Henrietta, is trying to hide amongst some pumpkins from the garden.

I’m not really sure what I’m waiting for in terms of adding some new birds to the flock. I think it’s just that I want to order sexed chicks rather than hatch my own as I have been, because I’m tired of having to rehome extra roosters. But I can’t make up my mind. I’m torn between the Speckled Sussex that I loved so much–but they have boring brown eggs–and Favaucanas that are significantly more expensive (but have lovely sage green eggs) and some more Wellies. Also some random Easter Eggers. And…

My husband loves the chickens, too, but I do think he’s relieved that we’re not so overrun with eggs as we were. Plus, our water situation made it complicated to have a larger flock (we don’t have potable water in our house). Since I work from home, it always fell on my husband to drive the extra eggs into town and hand them off to co-workers!


Mary Ann’s flock of chickens

Mary Ann's feathered friends

Mary Ann’s feathered friends

Hi. I’m Mary Ann and currently have a small flock, but wish I could keep more!  I’ve previously kept a flock of about 20-25 adult chickens, which seemed to be a great number for me, but after moving to a new state and a home with a much smaller yard I can’t keep more than about 6.

My current flock of 6 hens was chosen, with personality, beauty, and egg color in mind, so that my 6 hens lay 5 differently colored eggs.  The 6 hens currently providing me with beautiful eggs are a Lavender Orpington, Barred Plymouth Rock, Black Copper Marans, Blue Copper Marans, a Cream Legbar and an Easter Egger.


 

As you can see, you’ve met not only the wonderful members of My Pet Chicken, but their feathery friends who bring joy to us and our jobs. We hope you found this enlightening in your search for your new flock, or as an eye opener for the birds you are yet to give a try! MPC offers many of these wonderful breeds as Hatching Eggs, Chick Packs™, or chicks —and remember 2017 chicks are ready to be reserved now!

Do you have plans for your new flock or to extend your flock now you’ve seen so many breeds in our flocks?

DIY Phoenix Feather Wand October 31, 2016 No Comments

We’re just a bit geeky over here and we’re especially fond of Harry Potter. My middle daughter wanted to be Hermione Granger for Halloween this year. We already had the robe and hat in the costume box, but she really needed a proper wand. What’s a witch without her wand?

Behold the power!

Behold the power!

We had a few magic wands hanging around, but she wanted something special and she whittled this wand herself using a butter knife on a stick from our yard. She absolutely loved it, but left it on the floor downstairs one night. I accidentally stepped on it and broke it in half. (In my defense, I was carrying a HUGE load of laundry and never saw it.)

materials for DIY phoenix feather wand

Oops.

I fessed up as soon as she woke up the next day and my dear, sweet child wasn’t angry at her mother. She decided that what her wand really needed was a special, magical core, just like a real wand and we settled on a Phoenix feather for her wand core.

Where does one get a Phoenix feather in this day and age? Why from our Easter Egger hen, Phoenix:

Meet Phoenix, our favorite Easter Egger

Meet Phoenix, our favorite Easter Egger

Of course, Hermione’s wand uses a dragon heart-string, but we weren’t able to find any dragons in time. Still, chickens are related to dinosaurs, so that’s close, right?

If you have a phoenix breed chicken, that would work, too. Or you can use something for your own unique core. For our wand, we were lucky! Chickens lose a lot of feathers this time of year, so Phoenix didn’t even miss it.

DIY Phoenix Feather Wand

I carefully drilled holes in either side of the wand:

Don't tell my husband I borrowed his drill

(Don’t tell my husband I borrowed his drill)

Added our Phoenix feather:

phoenix feather wand: adding the feather

Wonder how Ollivander does it?

Used my magic glue:

Gorilla Glue is magic

Gorilla Glue is magic

Abracadabra! A real (real?) Phoenix feather wand!

phoenix feather wand wielding witch!

“Hermione” with her phoenix feather wand

Saving the Flock from Hurricane Matthew October 28, 2016 2 Comments

Natural disasters are among most flock owners’ worst fears. Actually, they’re among our worst fears, whether we have a flock or not. They are sneaky, they surprise us with their intensity and power, and no matter how hard we try to prepare,  at some point anyone could be a victim of a natural disaster.

Recently Hurricane Matthew devastated many in the eastern United States and beyond. In fact, it hit home for some of our own My Pet Chicken customer service specialists, me included.

Matthew worked his way up the eastern coast wreaking havoc in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, finally hitting North Carolina before heading back out to sea.

Where I live in eastern North Carolina we expected about 5-inches of rain and a lot of wind, but by the time it reached us it was only a Category 1 hurricane. For my family, and many others in the state, we had no clue about the level of devastation that was coming. We prepared as usual, most of us having experience with strong winds and rain along with the usual flooding. On my property we’ve hit the highest recorded flood levels multiple times in the last few years, but we knew our animals were well outside the danger zone on high ground, so we battened down the hatches and prepared to enjoy some family time.

Saving the flock and the animals

On October 8th, 2016 Matthew hit us with pounding rain.

It was windy, but we have certainly seen worse. Power flickered some, but we were not particularly worried. Around 2pm I went outside to do another check on the animals. I had been out only a couple hours earlier and other than rain our swamp was pretty dry, there was no standing water. I had my cell phone out (y’all know you would have too!) getting some video because now, just 2 hours later, the water was nearly as high as we have ever seen it and getting higher as I watched.

I walked toward the poultry yard and was soon running; our rabbit hutches had water in them!

I ran in and grabbed the bunnies, glancing at the chickens as I did so. They were wet from rain but that was the extent. The silly birds seemed to think their bugs are better wet, but the ground wasn’t flooded in that area. But by the time I had the rabbits in a dog crate 10 minutes later the chicken yard was flooded.

My young birds were trying hard to keep their heads up as they started floating. Thankfully they still like their brooder house which has wheels and they were gathering inside. I grabbed the handle and ran for higher ground, pulling against the water that was getting deeper by the moment, finally getting them out and locking them in at the highest spot with our bucks. The older birds were trying to get on roosting bars in their coop but the wind had knocked open doors and windows and they kept getting blown off into the water which was quickly filling the coop. I grabbed legs, wings, whatever came within reach, running them to higher ground in groups of 3 or 4. The water was shin deep and I was barefoot; once I fell over debris I couldn’t see in the churning water, dousing myself and chickens. They were shaking with cold and soaking wet but I got them all to higher ground. And still, the water continued to rise.

Breathless, I tried to catch my bearings when I heard the pigs bellowing in fear, and the goats crying. I realized our barns were about to flood!

I stood there stricken, not knowing what to do. There was no way to fit all the animals into our house. Hoping the chickens would be fine we started moving the goats and pigs from the slightly lower barns to our garage after quickly fashioning a makeshift pen. It was exhausting, carrying frighted animals one at a time, sometimes dragging them, screaming at them to move so others wouldn’t die. Neighbors saw our efforts and joined in.

At 8pm it was pitch black out, the rain was still driving hard and the last animals to move from the highest pens would be the chickens… but we could no longer get through to save them.

We had been working in the cold and wet for 6 hours. There was nothing more we could do.

Bruised, bleeding and exhausted we stood in the rain and flood water hoping it wouldn’t come up to our house. Roads were closed, we were stuck with no way out and praying the rain would stop. My heart was breaking, I had no hope left that my beautiful flock could survive the flooding in the barn. Even with the partitions being above flood level that they could fly up to, it was dark, they were cold and wet, and I had no hope they would figure out how to survive. We quietly went inside to wait.

The rain slowed, by 1 am the waters had receded quite a bit. I still couldn’t get into the barns safely. We went to bed with heavy hearts to wait for morning.

Saving the flock: coop in the water

After the water went down, our coop had flooded to the roof.

I woke and hesitantly walked to the barns. The world stank from the flooding and debris littered the ground. The water was still high and projections were that the flooding would get worse for those near rivers.

Tears ran down my face but I had to look, to see if there was life.

There, in that little pen at the top barn, all my little birds were running to greet me! Following them I saw my mature hens an a rooster; I could hardly believe my eyes! I ran in and counted… we didn’t lose a single life! Every bird was there; Captain Munch, Mr. Flowers, Mr. Fancy-pants, Sweetie… they were all there!

They found a high spot where hay piled up in the water, and huddled close for warmth all that scary night. I can’t describe the emotions that ran through me at that moment, and then later as the days passed.

It’s been hard, hard to have been lucky, hard to see the pain of others.

Saving the flock: survivors enjoy breakfast

The girls enjoying breakfast, happy to be dry again.

Slowly we are cleaning up. Heartache is everywhere with flooded homes, pets lost, family and friends swept away in the flood waters. We feel lucky to have not lost a life on our farm.

At the same time, we have a taste of the dread, the fear, the hurt that many are facing. There is a bit of survivors’ guilt for many of us, and yet an overwhelming relief that this storm is over and we can recover. Its been two weeks since Matthew left. Roads are finally opening up, people are getting back to work, kids are going to school, homes are being repaired.  On our farm the nasty smell is fading and we have been blessed with many lovely days of sunshine and fall breezes. The chickens greet me each morning, clucking and cooing as I fill their feed and water. At the gate the wind chimes make sweet music and the world feels right again.

Nothing will make us forget the feeling of helplessness during that storm, but many of us can look around and know that after the storm the sun always comes out again.

Pet chickens – how much you’ll save October 23, 2016 1 Comment

I started my chicken journey three years ago. With my children glued to their iPads all day, I wanted something that would take them outside: and so came the pet chickens!

eggs from my pet chickens

You can’t buy these at the store!

Some enter into pet chicken keeping with a lot of support from friends and family, but if you’re like me you encountered some Negative Nancies! Raise your hand if you’ve had someone ask you, “Why do you keep chickens when you can buy eggs from the store?” Now keep your hands raised if, like me, you’ve spent more money on your chickens than you’ve saved from buying eggs from the grocery store.

Exactly. It’s not always about the money.

Why We Keep Pet Chickens

We keep chickens them because we love them! The person who asks me why I keep chickens doesn’t ask the person beside me why they keep their Golden Retriever. For people who view chickens Read the rest of this entry »

The grossest egg your hens will ever lay October 21, 2016 6 Comments

While most of the eggs your hens will lay are going to be very normal, to start off October on a Halloween-ey note, I thought we’d take a moment to discuss the grossest egg you’ll ever see from your flock… if you enter the Twilight Zone!

BWA-HAHAHAHA! (That was my evil laugh.) But the tale I’m going to tell you is true.

Hens will lay some strange-looking eggs from time to time in the darkness of their nests. Here’s how it happens: Within their secluded and private nesting chambers, Read the rest of this entry »

Flock Spoilers: Our 5 Faves! October 7, 2016 722 Comments

What’s your favorite way to spoil your pet chickens? We’re going to share with you some our favorite flock spoilers. Let us know about your favorite ways in the comments below for a chance to win one of our new “Flock spoiler” Care Packages for your pet chickens! Read on for details.

Flock spoilers: Ultimate spoiled flock care package for chickens

Ultimate Spoiled Flock Care package

 

My Pet Chicken’s new Care Packages are flock spoilers we put together for you to help your chickens out, or to provide you the tools you need to support the health of your flock.

Since My Pet Chicken knows that the more loved backyard chickens there are across the country, the less we’ll rely on eggs produced by hens kept in battery cages in factory farms, we feel we’re doing our part to help by having our experts consult and share their best recommendations with you.

Our 5 Favorite Flock Spoilers

  1. Natural Chicken Care – This is a collection of some of the best natural poultry supplements available.
  2. Browbeaten Biddy– This is a convenient collection of our best items to help protect a bullied hen.
  3. Boredom Busting – Want to help your flock stay entertained? This is the package for you. It includes toys and treats that will keep your flock engaged and happy.
  4. Lay or Bust – Want to encourage egg production? We’ve got you covered with this package that includes Omega supplements, an egg basket, cartons, egg wipes and more!
  5. Ultimate Spoiled Flock – Special treats, treat cups, and even soothing sounds! This will superty-duperly help with the flock spoiling–we promise you!

To see details about each of our care packages, please follow the links above!

Flock spoiler: "browbeaten biddy" care package for chickens

“Browbeaten Biddy” care package for chickens

Now, to the Flock Spoilers GIVEAWAY!

Spoiling your chickens: we’ve put together some great Flock Spoilers for you… but we also know that there are many, many ways to spoil your girls when you’re a real chickenista! For instance, you might cook warm oatmeal for your flock on chilly mornings, or provide them with frozen corn on a hot, sunny day. You might provide them with ice water in summer, or even decorate their coop for the winter holidays. (Come on… you know they enjoy it, right?) You might build them a special dusting area, put little curtains up to help darken the nesting areas, or simply spend time sitting in the yard giving your favorite affectionate chicken the lap time she demands.

So… what is your absolute favorite way to spoil your flock? Please share in the comments below. We’d like to spread the chicken love with lots of great ideas, so newbies can be inspired.

To that end, we’re giving away one of each of our new Flock Spoiler Care Package! Five lucky commenters–one for each package–will be randomly chosen on October 17, 2016 to receive their Flock Spoiler prize.

Since not all of you can win, we’d suggest putting these on your holiday wish list, too!

How to Enter the Flock Spoilers Giveaway

To enter, you must comment on this post with your favorite Flock Spoiler…  or tag My Pet Chicken on Twitter, and use the hashtag #flockspoiler. Let us know how you spoil your flock of pet chickens at home! Enter by midnight EST on October 14, 2016.

Winners will be notified by email (or if you enter via Twitter, we’ll tweet you), and must email us your U.S. shipping address within seven days of notification in order to claim the prize. If you don’t respond within 7 days, another winner will be chosen. One entry per person.

boredom busting care package for chickens

Boredom-busting care package for chickens

My 3 Favorite Chick Packs September 27, 2016 4 Comments

My Pet Chicken recently started carrying Chick Packs, which are assortments of some of the rarest chicken breeds shipped for FREE! I jumped, leaped, and twirled a happy dance at the opportunity to receive one of these rare and designer breed chick packs.  I’m a customer service representative at My Pet Chicken—my name is Forest, hi!—and you know that anyone working here has GOT TO BE a little chicken crazy!

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A Splash Ameraucana exploring the watermelon garden.

With so many rare and designer breeds available, it was tough for me to choose which chick pack I should order. First I narrowed it down.

My top 3 favorite Chick Packs

Read the rest of this entry »

The Overhatch Madness of a Chickaholic August 17, 2016 5 Comments

Hi, my name is Jordana. And I’m a chickaholic.

It was Monday morning, I was at my office here at My Pet Chicken and the phone was barely ringing. Hesitating, I hovered my cursor over the date selection on our baby chick page, debating if I really wanted to see what was available in our over-hatch.  For over a year I have resisted the temptation to add to my flock, despite helping others fill their baskets with chickens I dream of in fevered chickaholic dreams.

I tried to justify it to myself: “You need to look at the overhatch, because you have to be prepared when customers call so you can help them get that special chick!”

“No, if I look I will be tempted, and if I am tempted… well, I’ll need a larger coop!”

Then, my finger slipped. Just slipped on the touchpad. I pressed a little too hard with my shaking chickaholic fingers… and there, right before my eyes, I see one of the best over-hatches in weeks.

Basket full of chickletts for the local chickaholic!

A chickaholic dream!

Every chick on my dream list was there, ready to Read the rest of this entry »

Gardening with chickens: 4 problems to expect July 29, 2016 No Comments

Gardening with chickens: You may have visions of living the good life, the agricultural life, and being more sustainable by producing your own garden veggies and chicken eggs in your backyard. But the trick is being properly prepared for the challenges. For instance, the pet chickens you love so much are not going to respect your garden boundaries. If they can go in, they’ll go in. And you may not like the results! Chickens are foragers, not gardeners.

Hornworm and hen

Forage this, girls!

That’s not to say chickens won’t help with your gardening efforts, but it’s not a fairy dust and rainbows situation in which adding chickens to your household will instantly make things easier. You have to know Read the rest of this entry »

My Pet Chickens from My Pet Chicken July 24, 2016 2 Comments

I’m a customer service rep here at My Pet Chicken, which means I’ve held the hands of countless beginners. I’ve laughed at your stories. I’ve helped you troubleshoot. I’ve placed hundreds of chick orders for you. I’ve assured you your breed selection is a good one. (You can hardly go wrong, after all!) And I’ve mourned with you at the occasional passing of a chick.

You might think that because I work here, all things chicken-ey have lost their sheen, or that getting a new batch of baby chicks isn’t as exciting as it used to be. You might think that losing a chick of my own might feel more like a dull ache than a sharp pain—but you’d be wrong!

When I get the call from the postmaster saying “Your chicks have arrived. Can you pick them up?” my internal monologue goes something like: “Can I pick them up? YOU BET I CAN PICK THEM UP! OH. BOY. OH. BOY. OH. BOY!” … and my bewildered husband is left to stare in awe at the streak of flames I leave stretching out across the house as I run to my car and head to the post office.

postman with chicks

Greetings Mr. Postman! That is my peeping box and I am definitely ready to take it home!

My My Pet Chicken Chicks

(Say that three times fast!)

This last shipment, the post office was speedy and delivered my chicks arrived a day earlier than normal, so I wasn’t expecting them. Read the rest of this entry »