Meet Mary Ann from My Pet Chicken! We lovingly call our My Pet Chicken employees "Peeps!" 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." In this "Meet the Peeps" blog series, we introduce you to Mary Ann. You've interacted with her by phone and email...now it's time to "meet" her.
Meet Mary Ann - Lead Supervisor
1. How Long have you been part of the MPC family? What is your position?
I have been a customer of MPC since 2009 and started working for MPC in 2010. I started as a Customer Service Representative in our phone department, and I am now the Lead Supervisor.
2. What is your home state and your favorite part about living there?
I was born and raised in Arizona but moved to Grapevine, Texas, several years ago. While living in Texas, I like that winters here are cold enough that I can actually wear long sleeves, and I also love the fall colors from our oak trees.
3. How long have you been a chicken keeper?
I started raising chickens in 2009 and used the My Pet Chicken Breed Selection Tool way back then to determine which breeds we wanted.
4. What was your first breed(s) of chicken?
5. How many chickens do you have? (Real numbers…not what we tell our family members!)
Back in Arizona, I kept up to 25 hens (counting the bantams as ½ a chicken to keep the number lower!), but here in Texas, where we now have a smaller backyard, we currently keep 6 hens; 2 beautiful Swedish Flower Hens, 1 Blue Cuckoo Marans, 1 Red Star, 1 Blue Easter Egger, and 1 white and gray Easter Egger.
6. Do you have any other animals besides chickens? If so, what and how many do you have?
Now that we are empty nesters and no longer have a horse property, we have fewer pets than before - we currently have 1 dog, 6 chickens, and a small goldfish pond.
7. What is your favorite chicken breed? Why?
I have a few favorites: Barred Rocks and Red Stars (temperament and great egg layers), Easter Eggers or Ameraucanas of any variety (for egg color and usually they also have a good temperament), and Marans (for the dark eggs). My favorite Marans from MPC were the Blue Copper Marans (large, fluffy, and she laid dark eggs), but I've recently discovered that the Blue Cuckoo Marans are quite friendly and also very pretty.
8. What is your favorite part about chicken keeping?
The pretty eggs! No matter how long my hens have been laying, gathering the eggs and enjoying the different colors every day is a fun surprise. I also enjoy watching chickens outside in the yard - it's peaceful watching pretty birds enjoying their free range time.
9. What is your best pro tip for a newbie chicken keeper?
10. What is your favorite chicken-keeping product and why?
The Sweeter Heater is one of my newer favorite products. Even though I'm in a fairly warm climate when our temps suddenly plummet into the teens or twenties, I am grateful we now have a safe option to keep our hens more comfortable in those below-freezing temperatures.
11. What is your favorite chicken-themed quote or joke?
“Chicken Math” Chicken Math IS a thing - I would have soo many more chickens if I had the room.
Mary Ann's Backyard Chicken Coop
It took me a while to convince my husband that chickens were a good idea, but he finally agreed and built me a coop out of an old gazebo that was on the property when we bought it. Although the gazebo already had a wood floor (which we covered with linoleum), the framework, and a shingled roof, my husband put up the walls, windows, and a door, covered the vents at the top with hardware cloth, plus built a run from scratch - and I love my coop!