Meet the Peeps from My Pet Chicken: Tanya January 13, 2022

Welcome to My Pet Chicken’s “Meet the Peeps” blog series! We lovingly call our My Pet Chicken employees, “Peeps!” You’ve interacted with us by phone, chat, and email…now it’s time to “meet” us. My Pet Chicken is very unique in that ALL employees are poultry keepers ourselves so we offer a wealth of experience and wisdom. Here is your opportunity to see how we became “crazy chicken people”.

Tanya, a white woman with short brown hair, smiles while holding her Blue Copper Marans chicken. They are both outside and the photo is cropped to just see their face.
Tanya and her pet Blue Copper Marans chicken, Violet

Tanya – Customer Service Email & Chat Peep

1. How Long have you been part of the MPC family? What is your position?

I have been a part of the MPC flock for almost 3 years since the spring of 2019 and I work in the chat and email departments.

2. What is your home state and your favorite part about living there?

I live in west-central Wisconsin, right on the Mississippi River! I love the four seasons and of course our delicious cheese curds!

3. How long have you been a chicken keeper?

I have been keeping chickens for almost 5 years, since 2017.

4. What was your first breed(s) of chicken?

I received 12 different breeds from My Pet Chicken when I first started, along with some Easter Eggers and a few other breeds that I purchased locally.

5. How many chickens do you have? (Real numbers…not what we tell our family members!)

I currently have 44 hens and 1 rooster.

6. Do you have any other animals besides chickens? If so what and how many do you have?

We have two kitties and a very sweet 70-pound dog.

7. What is your favorite chicken breed? Why?

That’s a very tough question! My Favorite breed is the Buff Orpington, along with several other breeds of course. The Buffs are just so friendly, in my experience.

Tanya, a white woman with short brown hair, smiles slightly while holding her Buff Orpington chicken.
Tanya and her pet Buff Orpington chicken, Marmalade

8. What is your favorite part about chicken keeping?

I love their personalities. They are beautiful, so entertaining and are very funny sometimes. They are peaceful to watch and listen to and I love them more and more each day.

9. What is your least favorite part about chicken keeping?

Well, one of my least favorite parts, I suppose would be morning chores or maybe waiting for them to go to bed! I personally like to “roost” early and morning chores speak for themselves. Even more so than chicken chores, the loss of a pet chicken is of course my least favorite part of chicken keeping.

10. What is your best pro tip for a newbie chicken keeper? The best pro-tip for newbies would be to have a full, well-stocked first aid kit and a space to put your bird when caring for her, such as our Hen Pen Pop-Up Brooder or a large wire pet crate. When you have somebody that has been injured or sick, the last thing you want to worry about is scrambling to find what you need to help your bird.

11. What is your favorite chicken-keeping product and why?

I have lots of favorite chicken-keeping products that I cannot be without. Sweet PDZ Coop Refresher (aka zeolite) and First Saturday Lime are the best for the droppings boards. I use a long-handled kitty litter scoop for cleaning the sand in the chicken runs daily. Vetericyn products are also great! Some of my favorites are the Wound & Skin Care Spray and the Foaming Pet Wash for Fine Coats in case anyone needs a booty bath.

12. What is your favorite chicken-themed quote, or joke?

I love all the old sayings such as “madder than a wet hen,” “like pulling teeth from a chicken,” ” rule the roost,” “ruffle your feathers,” “mother hen,” and on and on. There are hundreds that ring very true…if you know anything at all about chickens!

Closing thoughts from Tanya

I’ve loved chickens my whole life, even though I didn’t grow up around them. I always thought they brought serenity and warmth to any space. But it wasn’t until 5 years ago, that I decided to have my own flock. Someone told me, “You should get some chickens,” and that was that. I’m now obsessed with talking about chickens to anyone who will listen and I also really enjoy helping people care for their birds when they are sick, injured, or have special needs.

This past summer, I was lucky to adopt a couple very special girls, from a fellow MPC Peep. Liddie is blind chicken and she gets along just fine in life with a little extra supervision. The other chicken, Penelope has had both feet amputated, due to a severe frostbite incident many years ago. We built a wheelchair for her to sit in, just to change things up for her once in a while. She and Liddie, the blind hen live on my back porch in their very own coop. Penelope, whose feet are amputated lays a beautiful blue-green egg a few times a week, and on occasion, Liddie crows; yes crows! She only crows when she hears my one and only rooster crow…and only when she feels like it. They are the best of friends and are such sweet girls.

Tanya’s back porch chicken coop – Home Sweet Home!

One very unique and “eggciting” occurrence worth mentioning, happened the first year I had chickens. I had a young Golden Buff hen lay an egg inside an egg! She laid a fully developed hard-shelled egg, inside a much larger fully developed hard-shelled egg. Although this is quite rare, it does happen.

Having a flock has been eventful, brought immeasurable joy, and has kept me on my toes. I’ve learned a lot in the mere 5 years I’ve had chickens. I’ve laughed and grieved and have never done anything so enjoyable and rewarding – except maybe working here, at My Pet Chicken.

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