Introducing Jordana - Manager at 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 Jordana. You've interacted with her by phone, email, and chat...now it's time to "meet" her.
Introducing Jordana - Manager
1. How Long have you been part of the MPC family? What is your position?
I started working for My Pet Chicken in early 2016, so I must be ancient in chicken years! I manage our fulfillment and customer service departments, but my absolute favorite place to be is helping customers. There is something truly rewarding in helping people with similar interests be more successful with their flocks or finding the perfect coop.
2. What is your home state and your favorite part about living there?
I live in North Carolina, but I am originally from Michigan. I traded lake effect snow for hurricanes and still get stuck with tornados! Even though Michigan is lovely, I adore having a pretty much year-round garden here in eastern North Carolina - not to mention, I can visit everything from the sea to soaring mountains in this state!
3. How long have you been a chicken keeper?
Golly, if you count childhood, practically my entire life. When I was a kid, my parents got us ducks for Easter. Only one survived our dog, and we named her "Baby." She was so adorable and would sit on my Dad's lap under the maple trees, then every time, she would leave him a "gift," but he still kept letting her snuggle. Anyhow, chickens were a natural addition to my home as an adult, along with a lot of other poultry.
4. What was your first breed(s) of chicken?
As an adult, I wanted Dominiques and Black Australorps to start out. I had read some really neat things about the Dominique (this was back when the breed was endangered and hard to get). Anyway, with my knowledge today, I was actually sent Barred Plymouth Rocks, but I was still happy thinking they were this awesome breed I was helping save!
5. How many chickens do you have? (Real numbers…not what we tell our family members!)
Currently, I have three Isabel Orpingtons, one Blue Splash Marans, four bantam Calico Cochins, one Appenzeller Spitzhauben, and a pain in the behind Olive Egger rooster (nice enough, but he eats my garden!). I intend to hatch some Appenzeller Spitzhauben/Calico Cochin mixes this year - imagine how totally ADORABLE they are going to be! And, I am putting together my dream order for chicks for 2022; I need, not want, frizzled easter eggers and mottled cochin bantams, and totally more of the Blue Splash Marans and Appenzeller Spitz's too. No, I have not told my husband yet!
6. Do you have any other animals besides chickens? If so, what and how many do you have?
Why yes, glad you asked! While I have downsized (I used to have goats and pigs and guineas, rabbits, Guinea pigs...) I now have just a handful of geese (I love the heavy breeds, so Large Dewlap Toulouse, Buff Toulouse, and then a Tufted Roman ) and 5 ducks (including Silver Appleyard, Cayuga, and Swedish). Oh, and we have a pet snake that is 13 years old, a corn snake that we really should submit for a size record of some sort! Oh, there are the cats, and I milk a neighbor's cow; does that count?
7. What is your favorite chicken breed? Why?
I can't pick just one, but by far, Cochins have my heart along with Blue Splash Marans. I like the personality of these breeds, the heavy bodies of the Cochins, and the feathered pants they wear. Over the years, I have had almost every breed My Pet Chicken carries at some point, and if I could have a coop large enough, I still would.
8. What is your favorite part about chicken keeping?
Photos! And sitting with them. I love to listen to and watch them. They keep me company as I garden, and I can hear them from the pool as I relax. I would miss them terribly if I had to give them up. They are also a primary part of my photography hobby. I like to do fine art portraits and incorporate chickens into them. Did you know chickens were royal pets at various times throughout history? I was particularly struck by a painting I saw once of Queen Victoria of England with her large cochin seated on her lap at court, so struck that I had to have one of these beautiful birds myself. Once they get used to the idea, chickens are a lot of fun in the studio - they strut around, accept treats for being pretty, and even dress up in tutus for special events.
9. What is your least favorite part about chicken keeping?
I hate that feathers regrow, and I keep having to clip feathers to keep the flock out of my garden. They have a penchant for taking a bit of this and a nibble of that and leaving me with nothing if they get a chance. I admit that is rather funny to watch them jumping for blueberries or blackberries, but I do really prefer eating those myself!
10. What is your best pro tip for a newbie chicken keeper?
The best thing for success is to spend time with your flock. When you actually sit and watch and listen to them, they tell you what they need, if they are sick, or if they are frightened. Caring for an animal "by the book" isn't always what is needed, and dealing with problems after they start is a lesson in frustration and heartbreak. So, spend the time when they are healthy, and you will catch the problems early and be better prepared to deal with them. Also, take the time to do a little reading of quality books, not just social media. I have seen some crazy wives-tales, so it pays to use common sense and question things.
11. What is your favorite chicken-keeping product and why?
A perfect Bucket Heater - that thing is a lifesaver in cold weather and one of the best purchases I ever made for my flock. Now, for myself, my favorite product is the Cozy Coop Heater. It sits under my work desk, and I snuggle up beside it with my cold feet and feel warm and toasty while at work.
12. What is your favorite chicken-themed quote or joke?
"When arguing with a chicken, a grain of corn is always wrong." - African Proverb
"The cows shorten the grass, and the chickens eat the fly larvae and sanitize the pastures. This is a symbiotic relation." - Joel Salatin
Closing thoughts from Jordana
Chickens are often the gateway animal to bringing our food closer to home. They offer pleasure, peace, and beauty in addition to their natural functional nature. They are part of an efficient ecosystem we can create in our backyards and help restore balance. With all this, they can be kept in the most urban location to the most rustic - everyone should have chickens!