Hello! My name is Laura and I am a chicken addict! Have you been following Manna Pro Poultry and wondered, "Who is this lady, anyway?" After several years of managing Manna Pro's poultry products, I thought it was time for me to introduce myself to all the good people who chat with me on the phone, on our facebook page and here on our blog!
It was destiny that I should end up working at Manna Pro. Before I even knew what Manna Pro was, I had decided to get chickens. Heck, I decided to get chickens before I even had a yard to call my own! I used to work in the dog/cat business and one day while searching for something "pet" related, I stumbled across MyPetChicken.com and immediately fell in love. You see, I ADORE eggs. For years I have told people that eggs are easily in my top ten favorite foods - if not my top three (some of my others are spaghetti, cheese, mushrooms, St. Louis style pizza, grits, and pickles in case you were wondering). The thing is, I am also very dedicated to animal welfare and the fact I could never truly "know" that my eggs came from well-treated, happy hens made me rather sad. So once I knew that people keeping their own chickens was a "thing" I was 100% on-board! I even have a diary entry from March of 2009 when I wrote about deciding to get chickens and a list of breeds I was interested in.
It was during this pre-yard, mega-planning era that I happened to see an open position at Manna Pro and I went for it. The funny thing to me now is that when I first started, I spent my time working on our Equine business. However, once they found out I was getting chickens (and had spent over a year pouring over every forum, every site, every book about chickens I could get my hands on) it was GAME ON.
As many of us chicken-addicts can relate to, I started out with plans for four hens (I know you can see where this is going...) but in looking at all my choices of fabulous breeds I just couldn't stick to the plan. My first batch of nine chicks came in the mail and included a Rhode Island Red, Black Australorp, Silver-Laced Wyandotte, Cuckoo Marans, 2 Easter Eggers, and 3 Silkies. A couple months after that I decided I just couldn't live without an Olive Egger or Marans that lays darker eggs. I ordered fertile eggs and did my first incubation. I set nine eggs, but only 3 hatched, two of which were boys and one was a delightful Olive Egger pullet. I got my Marans fix by driving an hour and a half to pick up a Wheaten Marans chick from a breeder. And then there were 11...
Months after that, my mom contacted me about a friend who had a "rescue" hen who was getting too picked on in her flock. And then there were 12...
In the years since then there have been both losses and additions. Our rescue hen "Honey" was infested and sickly and did not last long. We had a terrible heat wave in 2011 and lost one of our Easter Eggers "Beatrice." 2012 was a year of change with the loss of our Rhode Island Red "Princess Buttercup" due to a horrible egg-bound related infection, and the loss of my sweet white Silkie "Marie Antoinette" to a hawk attack - although not until after she had fulfilled her destiny and hatched out 5 chicks for us (3 new Easter Eggers, 1 Black Copper Marans, and 1 Golden Lakenvelder, the lone roo and who rehomed where he wouldn't wake the neighbors). And here we are at the start of 2013 and I'm back to a flock of 12.
In all this time I have passionately explored what it means to be a modern homesteader and backyard chicken keeper. I love talking with others who have taken up the hobby and I love testing out our products to see how we can best support these spoiled, 21st century chickens.
One of my favorite parts of my job is connecting with all of you on facebook where we can laugh at funny cartoons and share stories. Every day I look forward to finding something fun to post and to see what you'll have to say about it. I try my best to represent you in meetings at work where we explore new product ideas, promotion ideas, and resources we can provide to help you in your endeavors. I basically have the greatest job a chicken-addict like myself could have.
Here are some other tidbits about me!
One of my favorite things about coming to work is my office full of chickens!
My very favorite Manna Pro Poultry products are:
My current flock is as follows... I like to name my chickens after favorite characters or people!
- Mrs. Featherbottom (from Arrested Development) - Black Australorp
- Gilda Radner - Blue Silkie
- Alabama (from True Romance) - Easter Egger
- Dory (from Finding Nemo) - Olive Egger
- Sally (from When Harry Met Sally) - Buff Silkie
- Ripley (from Alien) - Wheaten Marans
- Sophie (from Carnivale) - Cuckoo Marans
- Buckbeak (from Harry Potter) - Easter Egger
- Bronte (as in poet Emily Bronte) - Silver Laced Wyandotte
- Tonks (from Harry Potter) - Easter Egger
- Hedwig (from Harry Potter) - Easter Egger
- McGonagall (from Harry Potter) - Black Copper Marans
If you couldn't tell, I really like Harry Potter.
What else do I like besides chickens?
Besides keeping chickens, I also have a decent sized vegetable garden and I'm waiting on two apple trees to get big enough to product. Someday I hope to have bees and I would absolutely love to have a few goats. Aside from the homestead, I enjoy reading, watching movies, supporting local businesses, cooking (and eating!), travel, writing, and art.
What's my favorite way to eat an egg?
I love eggs every which way, but my absolute favorite is also pretty standard - a perfect fried egg with a warm runny yolk. I believe the vast majority of foods would be improved with the addition of a fried egg on top. Seriously. Pasta, a burger, pizza, mashed potatoes... Put a fried egg on it and I AM THERE.
So, that's a little bit about me! If there is anything else you would like to know about the person that gets to name our products and search the internet for funny pictures, just ask me in the comments! I am always available through our facebook page as well. It's very nice to meet you all!
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