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.
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.
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.
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 »
3 ways to Choose Your Best Chicken Breed July 22, 2016 1 Comment
If you’ve never kept backyard chickens before, you may wonder what the best way is to choose the best chicken breed for you. As we often explain, there is no One Best Breed for everyone. Some people may want only the best layers, while others prefer only the friendliest… or those that are the most cold hardy… or those that lay amazing colors like blue, olive or chocolate, and so on. So how do you choose?
The truth is there are a few ways to go about choosing the best chicken breed.
3 ways to choose the best chicken breed for you
1. Dream over a hatchery website, book, or catalog. When you like window shopping, this method is probably for you. Especially if you like the ultra rare or unusual, Read the rest of this entry »
Chicken feed supplements and your flock July 15, 2016 4 Comments
Recently we’ve been asked about a pretty sensational story: whether the deaths of some chickens purportedly caused by necrotic enteritis (NE) were due to using feed or chicken feed supplements mixed at home. We think there must be some confusion somewhere in the chain of information, a misunderstanding that should be cleared up.
Let’s get this out of the way first: No, the simple fact that your feed or chicken feed supplements were mixed at your home has no effect on whether your chickens get NE. NE has ZERO to do with where your feed is made.
Farm insurance: 4 good reasons to get it June 14, 2016 5 Comments
If you sell or give away your eggs, or have friends and neighbors over to visit your chickens — and you don’t have farm insurance — you could find yourself in hot water. (Hint: if you don’t know whether you have farm insurance, you don’t have it.)
If you’re like most chicken keepers, you’re an unabashed show-off. You’ll pull anyone who shows the slightest interest into your kitchen to wow them with your insanely vibrant eggs; you’ll Read the rest of this entry »
Nancy Luce – Pet Chicken Folk Hero April 8, 2016 11 Comments
Nancy Luce may be the most important pet chicken lover you’ve never heard of–called “The Madonna of the Hens.” She lived and died in the West Tisbury area of Martha’s Vineyard in the 1800s—and she adored her pet chickens, which were a solace in her hard, troubled life. She loved them so much, in fact, that she wrote books of poetry about them, which she sold to tourists who visited the island. She also commissioned photos of herself with her beloved birds, and peddled those to visitors, as well.
The Life and Death of Nancy Luce
Nancy Luce lived a rather solitary—even a lonely—life. Born in 1814, she was an only child of a farming family at a time when it was common for agricultural families to rely on their many children to help run the farm. When her parents grew ill, Nancy found herself in charge of the entire, struggling farm, as well as being the caretaker for her ailing parents. As Nancy grew older and her parents sicker, the task of caring for the family fell completely to her. Her parents, she explained in her writings, had many complaints and “lose their reason dreadful fast.” She took comfort in her flock of pet chickens. She seems to have suffered from depression most of her life, and surely the weight of all that responsibility on her shoulders didn’t help. However, she managed well selling groceries and dry-goods… until about 1840, when she grew ill herself. After that, she struggled terribly.
Even so, she found outlets for her creative spirit through care for her pet chickens, painting, and writing.”I think it is best for me to try to make a few pictures if I can to take up my mind so that the medicines have a chance to help if possible…” Read the rest of this entry »
Chicken Dream Job-12 Best Reasons to Work at MPC March 30, 2016 163 Comments
My Pet Chicken is hiring! (Update: we are not taking any more applications at this time.) Have you–or has someone you know–been fantasizing about a chicken dream job? Do you want to leave your current job and getting paid to keep and talk about chickens all day? Are you looking for a way to help support your family with your beloved flock? Or perhaps you’re a budding writer looking to blog about your flock? If so, your chicken dream job may be right around the corner with My Pet Chicken.
First, let’s talk about who we are and why My Pet Chicken might be the place to find your chicken dream job.
12 best reasons to work for My Pet Chicken
- You have a super-easy commute. This is because you commute from your bed to your computer for your chicken dream job. You will be telecommuting. That means no traffic! No gas money! No wear and tear on the car! No scraping snow off an icy windshield or getting into a sweltering vehicle!Roll out of bed two minutes before you start, if that’s your thing.
- You can work in your PJs. Or your comfy pants and favorite T-shirt with all the holes. We really don’t care what you wear to work for your chicken dream job. Bad hair day? No one will see it. No one, unless you have neighbors, and you feel like bringing your laptop and working from your porch on a beautiful day. And heck, that sounds appealing, too!
- You can be at home caring for a child without having to call off work. Snow day? Easy. Teacher work day? No problem. If you’re a single parent, or if you’re in a household where both parents work, having a child home from school can normally create all sorts of logistical problems! Well… consider those issues SOLVED.
- You have the best office coffee in the world! Well, depending. This presumes you make good coffee. But whatever your coffee-ing skills may be, telecommuting means you don’t have to choke down someone else’s weak brew and stale beans. You can brew it just how you want it, fresh, when you want it.
- You can keep pet chickens when you work here. In fact, you MUST keep pet chickens! You may be wondering why you wouldn’t keep chickens when you work at a hatchery? Well, if you work directly at a hatchery location, you actually can’t keep your own flock due to biosecurity concerns. But employees of My Pet Chicken won’t be going back and forth from a personal flock to the hatchery flocks or incubators, so you can enjoy your personal flock of pet chickens to your heart’s content.
This is probably one of the most compelling reasons working for My Pet Chicken is really a chicken dream job. How depressing would it be to FINALLY get that job at the hatchery… only to discover you have to get rid of your own beloved flock? And incidentally, if you have other pets in addition to chickens (such as a dog), this is a great job, too. You won’t have to worry about any separation anxiety, or rushing home from work to let your pup out. He can simply sleep at your feet–or even in your lap–and go out when he needs to.
- You will be working among the foremost pet chicken experts in the country. Everyone here is a little–okay, a lot–chicken crazy. That’s part of having a chicken dream job! My Pet Chicken can hire the smartest, chicken-craziest people from all across the country. We don’t have to hire just from the area physically closest to our hatchery, so we really get The Best people. At places where customer service personnel have to work directly at the hatchery location, the employees don’t have personal flocks, and may never have kept chickens personally. At your My Pet Chicken dream job, all your fellow employees get just as excited as you do when your new pullets start laying, or your broody has a successful hatch.
- You get to talk to other people who love chickens all day long. And you get paid for it! Do you enjoy “virtually” talking with other chicken lovers like you might on BYC? Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could make a living doing that? Well, if you feel that way, this is definitely your chicken dream job.
- You can take egg gathering breaks at work. We don’t know of any other workplace in the world where this would even be possible. Need to get up and stretch your legs? Feel free to go out to your coop, say “good afternoon” to your flock, and gather any eggs. Pet a hen, turn eggs in your incubator, check the chicks in your brooder. Talk about awesome!
- You get an employee discount on chicks, chickens, coops, eggs, supplies… Actually, this may be bad news if you suffer from Chicken Math. (If so… well, sorry about that.)
- You will be eligible to blog for My Pet Chicken. Our employees blog for us–and get paid for it! Are you a budding writer, dying to write about your flock, your farm, your chicken-keeping lifestyle? Do you have lots of DIY projects to share? Well, working for My Pet Chicken at your chicken dream job is the perfect opportunity to get started.
- You get the chance to raise some of our exclusive breeds before anyone else! My Pet Chicken now has the largest number of chicken varieties of any hatchery in the country, because we have so many varieties exclusive to us! When we develop a new variety, we often need additional feedback–and good photos of the birds. You will sometimes have the opportunity to raise these new, exclusive varieties so you can contribute to the breed description–or even blog about them.
- You can pitch your favorite hybrid “designer” bird. For instance, I developed Favaucanas for My Pet Chicken, combining the best qualities of two of my favorite breeds. Other employees have dreamed up amazing varieties like Naked Neck Olive Eggers and Silchins–and we now sell those varieties, too! This is because we work closely with our hatchery –so much so that they hatch the special varieties we design exclusively for us, and we even have input about bringing in breeders and lines to improve stock.
The Egg Strike Is Over – We Have Eggs! March 8, 2016 6 Comments
Eggs, oh the wonders of eggs! Egg souffle, homemade puddings, baked goods, and the simple joy of my egg basket overflowing with the stunning variety of color laid by my sweet feathered ladies. I hate the annual chicken egg strike.
But like all ladies, the hens need a break sometimes, much to my woe-is-me. It’s a cry that is echoed around the world by all chicken owners when the annual chicken egg strike hits.
It comes in winter… that time of year when, no matter what you do to compensate, you find yourself with fewer eggs and, in some cases, no eggs… yes, the dreaded egg strike. After a summer filled with nearly pulling out your hair trying to find uses for all of your eggs, suddenly, almost overnight, your hens just stop producing and you have to do the unthinkable… Read the rest of this entry »
Winter musings on backyard gardening February 20, 2016 No Comments
It’s February, and time to get the backyard gardening blood rousted and roiling full tile boogie!
I must somehow confound my husband into delivering and distributing several loads of chicken poo infused pine shavings over our potato bed. Read the rest of this entry »