Wilma The Wonder Hen Podcast

Raising Chickens As Companion Pets with Joelle of Chickenhappyhour

February 11, 2024 Melissa Season 3 Episode 52
Wilma The Wonder Hen Podcast
Raising Chickens As Companion Pets with Joelle of Chickenhappyhour
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

*We did have a slight audio problem this week. But it was still a fantastic episode!

Have you ever felt outnumbered in your own backyard? That's the story of how Joelle's flock grew from a reasonable six to an uproarious eighteen, thanks to the all-too-real phenomenon of "chicken math." This episode takes you on a whimsical journey with Joelle from Chickenhappyhour, tracing her steps from a child with a menagerie of pets in Miami to the proud owner of a clucking chorus in Franklin, Tennessee. If you're pecking around for advice on urban chicken keeping or just love a hearty hen tale, you've roosted at the right podcast.

Caring for a flock brings a basketful of challenges, but also a coop full of joy. This heartwarming chat dives into the nitty-gritty of integrating new birds and maintaining the pecking order, sharing nuggets of wisdom from our personal escapades. We shed light on the art of constructing a predator-proof coop, underscoring the significance of stress-free havens for our egg-laying companions. Plus, Joelle and I compare notes on the camaraderie and support found within the chicken-keeping community, from online forums to overcoming the dreaded coop lice crisis with a little help from our feathered friends.

Listen in for a flock of laughs and insights!

Support Wilma's podcast by purchasing merch here https://sassy-heifer-creations.creator-spring.com

Support the show

“Where education fuels compassion.”

Melissa:

Hey, hey, friends, welcome back. I'm Mel and this is one of the WonderHands podcast. We are so grateful that you've tuned in for this week's episode. This week's guest is Joelle of Chicken Happy Hour. She is graciously spending the day with us and we are chit-chatting about everything from chickens to social media and the good and the bad. So y'all tune in and let's go and a heads up. If you hear screaming in the background, it is not a child screaming, it is nugs. While I do my podcast I recorded out in my she-shed, which happens to be next to nugs, is PN and nugs can hear me in there, and when nugs hear me, hears me, he starts screaming, or she. We're not really sure yet. We are gonna do a big reveal once we find out what nugs really is.

Melissa:

Hey y'all, I'm Mel and you are listening to Wilma the WonderHand. Are you a Chicken Math 11, mama or daddy? Together we'll dive into the latest poultry keeping adventures, chat about everyday life, with a generous mix of some hilarious stories, bringing you fascinating interviews with poultry owners from all over. You'll find tips and basic advice from your local veterinarian, along with new chicken keeping gadgets and reviews. I'm gonna see what Mr Jengels and Wilma has to say about that. We're going to encourage and help you build a stronger, healthier flock. Let's go see what Mr Jengels and Wilma is up to. Let's go let these heifers out Grateful to have Joelle of Chicken Happy Hour with us at Wilma the WonderHand's podcast. It is such a big honor. We had a little issue before this. We spent the last hour trying to get this podcast up and going. It has been a complete nightmare, but she has been so sweet and so gracious to stick with me and not tell me to shove it no it's all good.

Joelle:

It's all good.

Melissa:

We would love to just know a little bit more about you. You can tell our listeners a little bit of backstory, anything you'd like to?

Joelle:

share, sure, yeah well, I'm actually relatively new to chickens. This will be my third year raising chickens in my backyard here in Tennessee. I've always been an animal lover and particularly a bird lover, but I grew up in Miami, florida, and kind of near the water and stuff it wasn't really like an ideal chicken sort of raising area. I'm from Florida too, oh you are.

Melissa:

That's so funny.

Joelle:

That's so funny. That's cool. Yeah, I grew up like that and we used to like rescue birds all the time and I've always been around animals. I wanted to be a vet, actually at one point, but chickens are new for me. When we bought some property out in Franklin a few years ago, I decided I went over to a friend's house and she had chickens and I just immediately fell in love with them. I was like this is my dream, and so in 2021, my husband said we could finally get chickens. And it was my anniversary, our 10-year anniversary present.

Melissa:

Any woman would just be overwhelmed to get chickens for their anniversary. Kudos to your man.

Joelle:

Yes, he definitely got a lot of good brownie points for that present and, as you know, with chickens and chicken math, it's the gift that keeps on giving. Sorry, that's my indoor chicken that's walking, not her, she's a parrot. But, yeah, since then we started out with six and now, I believe, we have 18 total.

Melissa:

Now you said Franklin is like the outskirts of Nashville. But do you live in the city or do you technically live in the country where you don't have a limit on chickens?

Joelle:

Well, I actually kind of have a cool situation here. I live pretty much in the city, but we're not in an HOA, so I'm able to actually have chickens. We have like two and a half acres.

Melissa:

You don't have anyone in close that can complain about a rooster or anything like that.

Joelle:

Oh no, I definitely have people close who could complain about Frankie, but luckily everybody around me, my neighbors are really wonderful and I've never had anyone complain about him, and he does crow a lot but and the hens are actually very noisy. It's funny because my one neighbor a couple days ago actually messaged me and was worried about the hens. She's like I just heard them like squawking and I was at the office and so I called my husband. I'm like is everybody okay out there? And he's like probably somebody laid an egg, you know, and they were all singing about it and that's what happens, yeah people complain about the roosters.

Melissa:

We have this conversation quite a bit about people who live in the city and they're not allowed roosters, obviously. But roosters are not. They're not as loud as these hens when they start cackling and what eggs. So, yeah, when I sing the eggs long, they are quite loud.

Joelle:

Oh, yes, yes, a lot of people think just like you said, but the roosters, that are super loud. But my hens can definitely give a rooster a run for their money. Sometimes, especially, I have salmon fava rolls. I don't know if you have the. Yeah, you do yeah, and you know how vocal they are. They're like the Siamese cats of chickens.

Melissa:

Yeah they do. They like to chit, chit, chit, chit chit they like to chatter a lot. So so when you first got your chickens, okay, so you went to your friend's house and they had chickens and you like, fell in love and silly, which is, you know, to be expected in the chicken world. So where did you go from there, like what were your steps to get your chickens?

Joelle:

Well. So we kind of did it a little bit backwards. We ended up just finding a local hatchery and picking out breeds like that. We just kind of thought like would give us sort of like a rainbow egg type of assortment. And I did a little bit of research but really it was such like kind of a surprise that my husband was actually saying yes, so just kind of randomly picked like six different types and picked them up and at that point we were just, you know, keeping them in a in a brooder box in the garage and everything with the lamps and all the things, and at that point we went out searching for a coop to get them.

Joelle:

So we kind of got the chickens before we got the coop. But we're a. We were really lucky and able to find an awesome like Amish built coop on Facebook marketplace secondhand and so we got that and it's. It's been great. It's what they're using now, my bigger chickens, because I also have Polish Polish chickens now that have their own. I call it their dream house and they're in a different part of the yard but, yeah.

Joelle:

So we started out with them and the six of them and got them this massive coop that could hold up to 20, around 20 chickens, because, you know, I think my husband knew it was probably going to be something where we would be getting more.

Melissa:

That's kind of how it started so you, when, like you said when you were in Miami, you know you were rescuing birds and you just have this great love for animals. And then you know, you move to where you are now, in Franklin, and then you went to your friend's house and they have chickens, and now you have chickens. Yeah, when you first started, though, was it because you wanted the eggs, you know, was that part of it, or was it just strictly you wanted to have these pet chickens?

Joelle:

I mean to be honest with you, it was more about having pet chickens and just the connection with chickens, the eggs. I kind of like a bonus and especially like I hadn't. I never knew that there was like a whole rainbow egg assortment that was available out there. That was all new to me. So getting some of these hands and seeing them, like I remember when we had an Easter egg or she passed away but she laid this like mint green colored egg and it was just incredible and it just amazing. But no, like I mean, if chickens didn't lay eggs I would still want to have chickens. That's a lot of our listeners agree to we almost yeah percentage that are.

Melissa:

You know the homesteading group and stuff.

Joelle:

But yeah, it's just for it's the okay, yeah, I mean, don't get me wrong though like I love eggs, we use all their eggs. If we don't eat them, we give them back to the chickens, as everybody knows, like that's a really healthy snack for them and everything. So, like they're, the eggs are definitely getting used and and we love them here. So, but you know, if somebody stopped laying I wouldn't be like oh there, you go bye. You know it's kind of a bonus, yeah yeah, yeah.

Melissa:

So you started with your initial six and I know you said you had like 18 now. So, from the six to the 18, how did that? What transpired between that? Like, um, oh, no, sorry, no, no, no, you go ahead. I'm just kind of curious did you seek out specific breeds, since you kind of put your foot in, you know, the door? You got them six, and now you're being really specific about what you want to bring home, you know, and add to your flock? And also, did you get chicks? Did you get, you know, started, pull-its and how did you kind of, how did you introduce the new chicks to the you know the OG flock kind of give our listeners little tips on how you did that sure.

Joelle:

Yeah, well, I kind of did a mixed bag of things, to be honest with you, like I ended up getting a couple of chicks after those original, the OG six. I wanted a coach in and I wanted the AMS money and I ended up sorry, my dogs ended up with the AMS money and she's beautiful and I still have her, and the one that was supposed to be the coach in is actually I don't know what he was. Honestly, I think he was a Brahma Easter egger mix, that's what.

Melissa:

I think, and he was actually he was Frankie's dad.

Joelle:

He ended up being Frankie's dad so, but I ended up yeah, so ended up with him and he was a rooster and he ended up being Frankie's dad. So I got them as chicks and then I wanted some more breeds, like I wanted. I guess mostly for that we're looking. I was looking for egg color at that point and I ended up ordering some started pullets from a breeder and I ordered some black hopper marans and a lavender Americana and a well summer and I got a good mix, yeah the well summer she passed away, but I still have the other three and they're still doing great.

Joelle:

So, yeah, I did kind of like I've done sort of all of it, Like I've even my chicken butter who appears on my page a lot cause she's very sassy, Buff Orpington I actually got her as I guess you would call an adult I think she was at least over a year old when I got her and so I've kind of done everything. I've gotten them from babies, I've gotten them from, like I guess, teenagers and I've gotten them as adults and integrating them. I know you asked about integrating with the chicks. You know I raised them until they're, like you know, big enough and fully feathered and, you know, strong enough to be able to be integrated within the flock. And I've had really good luck with the, with the whole. Like put them on the roost when everybody's roosting and then they wake up the next morning and they're like oh, look at my new friend and they're just like none the wiser and it goes pretty well.

Joelle:

I've had good luck with that method a couple of times with butter, who was older. I didn't have so much luck with that and I actually was keeping her kind of. I would keep her in our garage at night in like a kennel to sleep, but then during the day I kept her in half the runs where she was, had food and water and blocked off and could see everyone and they could see her, but nobody could get to each other because it was, yeah, because we had let her out initially, like when we first got her, and it was kind of like mayhem, well, that's a good example.

Melissa:

I'm good that you you know you you brought that up, that you know you didn't have to, you didn't have just one way. You know the putting them on the roost at night. It doesn't always work for everybody, you know because, chickens wake up in the morning.

Melissa:

You know how chickens are, I mean they are snarky, they are mean, they're just a bunch of mean girls. Just putting them on the roost doesn't mean they're going to be best buddies in the morning. So you, I mean you had that plus. That did help, you know it did work out. But then you realized also with butter, you know she's like I don't want no part of you. So that's good. You know.

Joelle:

That's a good example that what works for one may not work, you know, for someone else and also, you know, utilizing different ways within your own flock, like one method might work for those chickens and then another method might work for a different chicken. You just kind of have to see what works best for you. But yeah, like I've had to do different things for different situations, for sure yeah, so where did your names for your chickens come from?

Joelle:

A lot of them came from my kids. I have three kids. I have boys that are 10 and a daughter who's eight. So like Elsa and Anna, I mean how many Elsa and? Anna, are there out there Chickens named Elsa and?

Melissa:

Anna, yes, let's just let that go yeah, yeah, yeah exactly.

Joelle:

Exactly, my mom's helped with a few. Actually, she's gotten involved particularly with the Polish. She named Tallulah, my smooth Tobon Polish, and but, yeah, I've named a few of them. My grandmother named some. They just kind of like everybody's just participating in the naming. My husband, I don't think he knows who is who. Yeah, like at all. I love that.

Melissa:

Do your kids help you with the chicken chores? Like, do you enjoy the chicken chores? Is there chores? Is there something? Is there things that happened since being a chicken mama that you didn't expect or you didn't realize this was part of chicken keeping. That came as kind of a shock.

Joelle:

Well, again, it's like there's all these chicken keeping can be kind of, I think, overwhelming for some people when they look into it, because everybody's like, oh, we'll do it this way, do it this way, this method, that method, this feed, that you know, bedding, all of this stuff, you know it's very overwhelming. We kind of just, I guess now, knowing all the different things, it's kind of went with more of like a basic sort of approach. To be honest with you, my husband does most of the chicken chores. It's not really me. A lot of the times my kids are the egg collectors.

Joelle:

You know, I'm kind of like I guess I could say like it's kind of it is sort of like a show in a way, like I'm like the producer, the chickens are the talent, and then my husband is they're the hired help, they're the hired help, they're keeping the show running here, you know, and it's like we got to make sure, you know, frankie the rooster, the star, like he's got to have his blueberries, you know, and it's we're all doing our part, you know, for our superstar flock basically. But yeah, yeah that's, that's funny.

Melissa:

I only cackled because I spent most of yesterday cleaning out nine coops and two goosepins so I was like, yeah, oh, yeah, I mean.

Joelle:

I have done. I've done some of it. We had some my what were they? Lice.

Joelle:

We had some lice at one point and I did help with that because I'm a little like when it comes to the chickens. I'm very like you know, I'm worried about them all the time and I needed to do it myself to make sure. Not that my husband wouldn't have done a good job with the spray, but I needed to do it myself to make sure that, like, every nook and cranny of that coop was shot with that stuff, you know so it's like certain stuff like that, like I'll get involved, but the daily sort of stuff you know, like I'll get eggs out there sometimes, but generally, yeah, they're doing that.

Melissa:

That's okay. That's okay. You get to keep your chicken mama card. I mean, thank you. We all have our own little thing, that we do our flock, you know. So when you started with the chickens and I know you said that a few of them have passed away where did you get your research for how to care for them? Or, if something came up, you know, how did you find the information that was gonna guide you to take care of these chickens?

Joelle:

Do you have a veterinarian? Sorry, my dog's again Google and forums and stuff. Also, I belong to a group in Miss Maybelline. That's the chicken protector that you hear, my livestock guardian dog.

Melissa:

I belong to a Facebook group. Your livestock guardian dogs in the house?

Joelle:

Yes, well, the chickens are actually up today because the weather's so gross like I don't want Frankie's feathered booty to get all muddy. You know Tennessee mud is something. But yes, back to, sorry, the question.

Melissa:

No, that's okay, that's okay.

Joelle:

No, no. What was the question?

Melissa:

Like where did you go for your research? Like, I just take care of them.

Joelle:

Well, I have a couple of friends that I know who have taken care of chickens and I relied on them in the beginning just for like various things and then, like you know, some Facebook groups I'm in locally and then ultimately, as I started to kind of things started to grow and everything I did come in contact with a vet. We have a local vet here that sees chickens and I think they probably know me now because I have been there a few times with some chickens and they've been wonderful and very grateful for them because they've definitely have saved a couple of them and helped me out. So I'm lucky enough to have the local vet here, because I know a lot of people don't have that and I also know it can be really expensive for some people and I mean it's still expensive, like I mean, especially when you think about like how much you initially paid for the chicken. But I mean I don't look at it like that, like these are my pets and like they're. You know they're a part of the family.

Melissa:

So, like the amount of money is you hear that, you do hear that, like sometimes in forums. You know when someone posts about their sick chicken and people will come at you know the $4 bird you can get another one. But if you think of all the years that you have into it, even if you take away personal attachment, you know the amount of feed and materials for upkeep you know it's more than just $4 bird. So-. Yes, absolutely I don't like it when they say that it just makes me sad. Yeah, no.

Joelle:

I agree you get yeah, they definitely don't. It's the $4. You don't even think about that anymore once they kind of come into your family and everything. And then you know, as I started growing on social media and everything, and when I found the communities, I found a community in TikTok and I found I found community in Instagram. You know a lot of community there and I met people who have helped me save, like you know. There's what's her name? Ray from COVIDCluckers. We love Ray. I know I know y'all love her and she is great.

Joelle:

And I was having an issue with one of my birds and I messaged her and she just like walked me through everything and she checked on me and I mean like I really feel like my chicken is here because of her and like her helping me and I've told her how grateful I am for you know, for helping me in the patients that she had Cause. Yeah, I was like checking in with her like every hour. I'm like this is what's happening, this is happening, and she, right there, would get back and be like that's normal and that's okay. You know she was easing my mind and so like finding these communities within this having Chicken Happy Hour and social platform Facebook, tiktok and Instagram has been great. I mean, people have been so kind to me and helped me and navigate some issues and helped my chicken, so it's been wonderful.

Melissa:

I think that's really sweet, though I also my dad to my dad, my stepdad.

Joelle:

He's a veterinarian. He's not an ADIAN veterinarian but like he has helped me with some things as well, I'm very lucky, Like my Americana when she was still a pull it she broke her leg and he came over and he helped. You know, he wrapped it and we splinted it and everything and I mean she's great, like she still she kind of runs a little funny, but she's great, you know, and healthy and fine. So I just wanted to throw that in there because I do have that sort of a little bit of that resource as well, which I'm very lucky to have.

Melissa:

Yeah, that's a great resource. There's nothing wrong with you know, just because I mean that's very sweet and very humble of you. You know, because not everyone like you know. We've said a million times I don't have that.

Joelle:

But I mean now.

Melissa:

That means maybe you could be a benefit to somebody else with some information that you know, you education that you obtain, and I think that's what part of the community is all about, even though if you don't want to participate, obviously you don't have to. But I think that is what what makes our community so good is because people genuinely do want to help each other. I agree, yeah.

Joelle:

Yes, for sure.

Melissa:

So what kind of tips would you give somebody who wants to get into chickens that you know, chick chick season is coming up.

Joelle:

It is coming. I would say, like my tips I would say, try and I guess, join some groups or, if you're like on social platforms like, connect with some chicken. You know people, chicken keepers, just to start like kind of building your community and your resources of you know from people who know kind of like a bit more than you and can help you. And also, like I mean, there are so many breeds of chickens out there and so many people love so many different breeds. I would I don't know, just read about them, like which ones, like what you're kind of I guess what your goals are like. You know, is your goal a rainbow basket or is your goal like a ton of eggs a year? Or is your goal like to have chickens that are friendly because you have kids? You know things like that. It's like kind of focused, like what's, what is your priority? You know, and and sort of like how you feel, like we talked about in the beginning, like are they going to be pets? Are they going to be more like for for you getting a bunch of eggs? Or you know kind of figure out like what your main sort of goals are for them in your life and that can sort of help you find out, like, what breeds might be good for your flock. And and yeah, that's kind of where I would start and I would also recommend getting a really good coop and investment. It's a, it's a. It's an investment, a quality one, like I feel like you know, like the coop that we got, it was, it was pretty expensive, even second hand, but it's so worth it because it's one of those things that could be the difference between, like your, all of your birds being taken by predators in the middle of the night or not.

Joelle:

You know, I think, finding a really good, solid coop and having a run that's got all of as much as you can do in terms of predators you know, wrapping the hardware caught, but whatever it is that you need to do to help prevent predators, because, I mean, we have to help with predators. I know some people don't rearrange their chickens and for that reason, yeah, I, I kind of do a mix of both like, but generally I like to let them free range a little bit. We have a big fence around our backyard, which was very lucky to get, and it does help keep out some predators, but we have had, you know, a couple of predator issues. But it really it's our job as chicken keepers to kind of help prevent as best we can predator issues. So getting a secure coop and run I think is just very important and putting the investment in on getting quality things I think is also important. Some of these coops I see like I'm just like oh my gosh, like a raccoon is just going to be like haha.

Melissa:

Yeah, I agree, I agree what you're saying. I don't take like that. I don't think that you're being you know offensive about that at all. I mean, it's true, it doesn't have to be like a Taj Mahal, like a decorated with you know crown molding on it. But yeah, absolutely you need.

Joelle:

I love those coops, though, by the way. Yeah, I have some friends on Instagram, oh, and I'm like, my eyes are just like hard eyes, like for those. I mean, if I could be. Yeah, no, but I agree with what you're saying.

Melissa:

Yeah, use the resources you have, like you said, but you know, just make sure you put extra effort into it so that if you just blow on it or the wind you know passes by your head, you know you're just going to fall over. Right, it's got to be something that you know. Other than a bear you know nothing should be able to get into your coop. So, yeah, I completely agree with that.

Joelle:

Yeah, I mean chickens like they use their coop, as obviously they go there to lay their eggs and they go to their to roost and everything. But it's also kind of like their safety spot too. So you have to you have to, like, give them their safety and everything. So I would say, yeah, investing in a really good coop and run and just making sure it's as secure as you can make it. And you can do that, like you know, pretty much on any budget, like I think. I think it just comes down to just you know figuring out what's good for you and yeah, and you know stressful birds, they don't lay eggs and stress.

Melissa:

You know stressed out birds, they're more prone to illnesses, you know, because of the weakened immune system. So, yeah, you need to make sure that where they're staying is safe. Yeah, we want to know. We won't take up much of your time. We know this, if you knew what happened before this interview.

Joelle:

It's okay, we're good, so I'm good to keep going.

Melissa:

We do want to talk a little bit about your online presence and how that got started, you know, and where you kind of see yourself going from here, Sure yeah, well, it was.

Joelle:

It was interesting how it all got started for me. I, I, when I got the chickens, I, they would always I would always kind of come see them around like four o'clock, you know, in the afternoon, like, and I would call it chicken happy hour, because I was like we're out there and we're having our snacks and, you know, sometimes our wine and things like that, and the chickens are coming around and I was like it's chicken happy hour. So I just kind of started saying that to people and being like, yeah, you want to come over, come over for chicken happy hour. And it kind of just sort of like stuck, you know, and so I just decided to start the pages up on social media. I actually started mostly on TikTok and it was in 2022.

Joelle:

And I actually got kind of sick, like I was. I was actually pretty sick and I'm since doing much better, but basically I was getting vertigo like every three to four days, and if you've ever had vertigo, it's basically just like everything's spinning, you can't really move or else you're going to puke, and so I was bedridden for a while and I really could only like focus on one thing kind of close to, with close vision and I started to just sort of like dive into TikTok and learning how to do the ropes on editing and started kind of coming up with ideas. And it just started to kind of go off from there and I started gaining more and more followers and I started to get better at finding, you know, audios and creating audios and all of the things and it just sort of it really just started to grow. And I remember I posted, there were a couple of videos I posted and they just started to like go viral and I never experienced that before and it's just.

Melissa:

I mean it's very exciting, yeah, it's like it's yeah, it brings a lot of crazy people to it it does it does.

Joelle:

I have experienced many and I experienced them. You know, yesterday I had to block somebody Because, yeah, like, some people are just a little, yeah, but, and you open yourself up to that, like especially the bigger you get.

Joelle:

I think they think like, oh, like, you're probably like not even a person like behind this account anymore, but anyway, so I posted a video on TikTok called chicken crimes and it was crimes my chickens committed this week and I got the idea off. Another friend of I were actually friends now another creator. She does cats and she did, you know, crimes my cat submitted this week and I was like I should do chickens because I'm like my chickens are always doing crazy stuff, you know. And so you know, created that and it just sort of like blew up and I, you know, people were like make it a series and I was like, oh, that's great idea. So I made it like a little series and prior to that I had been posting over at Instagram but, like you know, I wasn't kind of. I have like 200 followers, I was like oh, you know whatever like.

Joelle:

But then I posted chicken crimes on on Instagram and I'll never forget, like I, because I like I said I had like 200 followers and I posted it there and I think I got I went to like 30,000 in like one week. It was. It was something wild like that, yeah. And and then I was like, okay, okay, all right, instagram, okay, like we can, okay. And then from that point on, you know, I just like I've been posting, obviously cross five forms.

Joelle:

I added Facebook recently into it and yeah, that's kind of like how it all started, but really it's just like certain videos, just really, that's all of a sudden, like you know, you go like your your follower account just explodes. It's just and and to be clear, like, because I know there's a lot of people who are creators and chicken created content creators and everything you, a lot of you out there like, are creating awesome content and you know, and I see it all the time and it's and it's not going by rules, you know, for whatever reason, right, right, don't beat yourself up over that, because a lot of it is just. I really do think a lot of it is luck and there's sort of like a luck factor coupled into it.

Joelle:

And then you also think about the algorithm, which is kind of like this I kind of yeah, like I was talking to a girlfriend of mine the other day about it and I was like the algorithm. I see her as like this, like little, like nymph creature you know, like dancing around and like you know, because you just never know what it's going to do.

Melissa:

You don't I like that you gave that advice, especially to the you know, smaller accounts that you know maybe they're struggling and maybe they do have good advice and people are just not able to see that. So you know, don't give up in like you said, the algorithm. The algorithm is. It's the weirdest beast ever, but absolutely.

Joelle:

And so, yeah, my advice to you out there as, like you know, content creators and everything is just to create, you know, keep creating and, like, trust yourself and produce. You know, the quality content that you can, that you can do, and I mean, eventually, like, something will click. You know, you just got to keep going, Because you just never know, like, and it literally could just be one video that you do that could change everything overnight for you. Like, I've seen it happen to many accounts where they're like, you know, a couple thousand followers, or maybe 30 or 40, and then they post one video and they're like over 100,000, you know, within weeks. It's just that's just the nature of it.

Joelle:

Social media. I love social media, like, in terms of for the most well, the most. The reason I love it the most is honestly like, just being able to reach so many people and and have connections with people and people writing me and telling me like wow, your video just brightened my day and like I was having the worst day and everything, and that's wonderful and I and that sometimes like those little things just keep you going, because there is, there is a very dark side, like we kind of were talking about.

Joelle:

yeah. Yeah, I mean, I don't always get happy, positive comments or messages from people. You know, and I'm dealing right now with some major content that, like that I'm dealing with.

Melissa:

And that's, that's awful. We know, we I mean obviously we're, we're just like on a smaller scale of an account and that you know. That's okay. We, we dabble in everything. But yeah, people have. They've ripped off Mr Jangle's videos. You can find them on YouTube. They don't belong to them. Yeah, nothing can.

Joelle:

they don't do anything about it, so yeah it's really frustrating and I mean like I feel like a lot of people who this happens to like, they just I think they give up because the hoops that you have to jump through just to even, like you know, prove things, but yeah, no. I'm, I'm gonna.

Joelle:

I still got some for me right now, like especially when I see you know somebody like making money off of me. You know that's that's not cool, so but yeah, anyway, overall though, overall, I just want to say that like the support and just everything that I've experienced through Chicken Happy Hour has been amazing the opportunities that I've had to meet people and work with brands and just the whole thing, like I mean, I love creating and I love that like people like know Frankie, mostly, yeah, it's awesome. Like I joined this random Facebook group Just if it was about Rooster. It was called like Rooster Love or something.

Melissa:

Yeah.

Joelle:

And I posted a picture and I'm like Hi, like this is my rooster. I didn't say his name or anything and people are like oh my gosh, is that Frankie? Yeah, and I love that.

Melissa:

Yeah.

Joelle:

I love that Like it's. It's it's really just been great, it's really changed my life and it's, yeah, it's just been a really cool experience. I never would have thought, you know, that it would be that, because, out of all the things that I've done in my life, like, but I would have never thought this would happen, but here we are.

Melissa:

I think it's great, you know, because people have a place to come and they can just yeah something that just makes them feel good, or laugh that day or something. So that's, you know, you're putting good stuff out there. So, yeah, thank you, Thank you.

Joelle:

Yeah, some of it can be a little edgy. Some people get mad at me, but I promise you that it's all just been good fun and I also promise you that my chickens are living it up. They are spoiled, they are loved, they are, I mean, getting basically fresh blueberries every day. Frankie's getting his blueberries every day, yeah, so I mean I joke I've joked before that, like you know, if you see me do any like brand ads or anything like that, I'm like you know all of the money is going to his blueberries. I mean it's kind of true, Blueberries are cheap.

Melissa:

No, blueberries are not cheap. Yeah, the bigger you flock you have like mine Exactly.

Joelle:

Dynormous flock they how many do you?

Melissa:

have? I had over a hundred and something, oh wow.

Joelle:

Wow, that's amazing.

Melissa:

I kind of slimmed down my flock last year. I downsized just a tad, just a tad. Yeah, I still have the majority of them, and now I have geese and stuff. But I'm preparing all of that because I'm actually getting a Jeff Jersey Hever calf and I do all of the like chicken chores and everything. So I got to make sure I'm able to take care of my flock and my new Jersey.

Joelle:

Yeah, yeah, you got to make sacrifices. Yeah, no, that's. That's awesome.

Melissa:

I don't know where do you see your flock going Like? Where do you see, like you even you don't even have to, you know just your flock itself, maybe your account, I mean just overall, like where these chickens go?

Joelle:

Yeah, Well, my flock is going to grow a little bit here in a couple months, just by four. I have ordered a few more chickens, so four of them. A couple more favorals, because I lost my favorite favoral hen last year to a great horned owl of all things.

Melissa:

Yeah.

Joelle:

Yeah, so, and it was awful too, not only because of how awful it was, just but I really like owls and I was really like afflicted because I was like I love owls, but I like I hate that owl Like how dare you? Eat my baby? Yes, exactly, and I was just like oh, I saved your ancestors.

Joelle:

Yes, exactly, yeah. I mean like I love owls so much, like when I had my baby shower I had twin boys and like it was like little owls, like I really loved owls, and then I discovered this owl ate my chicken. Yeah, so that wasn't good. But so I'm going to be getting a couple more favorals I do have one still out there and then I'm getting some barred rocks. I've never had those before, but I see a lot of them out there, Be prepared.

Melissa:

They are sassy, like in your face. I love that.

Joelle:

They will fit right in with the whole vibe here.

Melissa:

They're some of my favorites.

Joelle:

I definitely like them oh that's great, that's good to know. Yeah, I love hearing that Because, yeah, I'm excited. So the flock, in that sense, is going to grow and that's Frankie. Like I call it like the big coop Because that's where, like Frankie, and then I have my bigger like chickens living and then I have my Polish chickens who are living in their little Polish dream house over on the other side in a different yard. So, like whenever you see my posts about the Polish, like Frankie, because somebody was like oh, is that like Frankie's new girlfriend? Like no, these they're not ever going to be around them.

Melissa:

They're separated. The Polish just ain't meant to mix with general population.

Joelle:

Yeah, you know, I've talked to a few people who have both and mixed together, but I just I mean we're not saying it's not possible, possible. But from my experience.

Melissa:

I've had Polish and they just yeah, yeah, I would be worried.

Joelle:

I would be concerned Not even so much, honestly about Frankie, because Frankie's actually I know the way I portray him sometimes, but he's actually very nice and he's a very good rooster. I mean, I think some of my bigger hens would just turn them up. You know, they're just a different vibe and so they're living in their own little like you know, Polish dream house.

Melissa:

I agree with you on that. Yeah yeah, that's how I feel about it too.

Joelle:

But you know, that's just my opinion, but it's your burden.

Melissa:

Do whatever you want, so nobody can tell you what to do anyway. So no, man yeah absolutely so.

Joelle:

Yeah, so they're living separate and I just recently added to them, so I have four Polish hens and I'm good on them right now. So, in terms of my thought, you know, that's kind of what's going on. And then, in terms of my page, the goal and the dream is to just keep growing, and I'm also wanting to. I'm going to be doing like it's a giveaway that I've been wanting to do since I hit 100k and I'm now I think I don't know 220 something, and I'm going to be doing it soon. I want to do a giveaway and just to like thank everybody for all their support and I have already have a lot of people involved that I want to, you know, include in that and I'm working on it. So that's something that's coming.

Joelle:

And then, ultimately too, I want to just keep building my website and have some fun, like merchandise that people can buy, you know, Frankie, frankie T-shirts and like mugs and fun things like that. I've worked with this amazing cartoonist and she did a Frankie cartoon that I haven't shared yet because it's just I want to share it, you know when it's ready to go and merch and everything and maybe part of the giveaway. But yeah, like I have big, I dream big and I have a lot of really cool ideas. I think that would be great for growing chicken half a hour and hope that, you know, everybody just will love it and continue to support me, and I'm so grateful honestly, like just to just to be kind of doing what I'm doing and being able to reach all these people.

Melissa:

It's just amazing, like yeah, it's great, it's kind of mind blowing, because you don't think you were kind of talking about this the other day, not necessarily like I'm not necessarily talking about like our pages, but in general you can talk to people, like even on my podcast I can talk to people from all over.

Melissa:

And you can sit down and have a conversation about their chickens, like I'm sitting down with you and it's an honor for me to sit down with any guest you know and to go over you know why they love their chickens and how. You know how much it's done for them, and then we can share that with other people and you know it's like a domino effect of helping people. But if we didn't have all this, you know you wouldn't. You wouldn't run into these people on the street, you know?

Joelle:

No, yeah, and I need to say like yeah, like it's a huge honor for me that you invited me to be on this. Like when you reached out to me, I was I think I squealed a little bit I'm just really excited, really honored it really.

Joelle:

I kind of feel like it was like yeah, you're officially part of the chicken community here, you're definitely a part for sure, because I know like I'm kind of like different, in the sense of like a lot of people they do the comedy stuff but they also do like some education and they do kind of a mixed bag and I'm pretty much like doing all comedy. So but and I don't know like there was a there was a period of time to where people I think just thought I was one of those pages that just like reposted.

Melissa:

Well. I don't know. I'm thinking back like in the beginning, because Will has been on the internet since 2019. She's been on a show since 2019. Yeah, and you know there are. There are a lot of pages in the beginning that you couldn't tell if they were like reposers, if they were right. You know, because you didn't really have any communication with them.

Melissa:

You know, in DMs or outside of like just having a conversation about a sick chicken or what to do in this situation, you know. So you kind of built up or like a little relationship or whatever, so, and I don't like spend a whole lot of time on the internet, you know. But I knew last year this was like last year that I had a list of, because each year when I start the new year I make a list of people that I want to have on my show, and your name was on the list, and this was probably last year. I don't know if it was. I don't know all the details, I don't know if I fit. I think I found you from TikTok, though is where you came from.

Joelle:

Yeah, that's kind of where I was initially, like yeah started off and was growing the faster.

Melissa:

You don't have to. Obviously you don't have to do anything outside of what you feel comfortable doing. Oh yeah, no, no.

Joelle:

And now, I think now people know that it's me.

Joelle:

I've been in a lot of the videos and I also try to engage on my videos as much as I can Like. And if people write to me like I write them back and stuff, like I want people to know like it's a real I'm a real human being behind Chicken Happy Hour and you know, like this whole, like the verification and stuff, and like putting your face in yes, yes, that whole thing, but it's like. You know, I don't really wanna do that because even though I'm a huge part I mean huge part of Chicken Happy Hour, I'm creating it and all doing all the things with it. I want it to be about the chickens. You know, if I, whenever I make a video, it's funny because there have been video ideas that I've had and I think of it and I'm like, okay, well, I'll do this one part and Frankie's gonna do this other part, you know, and then I'll edit out the video and then I'll think you know what, like, could a chicken do my part? You know.

Joelle:

And I would rather, I'd rather be that way. I'm just there to sort of fill in. I'm there kind of it's like the person behind the. They're not puppets, but you know what I'm saying, right. Oh yeah, I completely understand I don't want it to be about me, but I do want people to know that it is a real human being.

Joelle:

Like the page is, like, I guess, my baby in a sense yeah, and it means a lot to me, I spend a lot of time on it, I care about it a lot and I love it, and I love all of my chicken so much, and yeah, so, we are so grateful that you agreed to come on our show too. Of course. Well, thank you so much. It means a lot to us. Thank you, I'm so happy to be here.

Melissa:

Well, thank you, it means a lot to us. I do have three questions that I'd like to ask you at the end, but before I do that, do you have anything else that you want to share? Do you have anything on your heart or anything that you you don't have to? I? Just want to make sure that you know you don't get just cut off and be like get out of here. We want you to express whatever you may have to say. It's what I'm trying to say no.

Joelle:

No, I think I said it. You know a lot in our conversation so far, but just how thankful and grateful I am to everyone for their support of my page and me and Frankie and all the girls and and yeah, just I. I look forward to growing and bringing more funny content and hopefully some cool merch and all things like that. You know and and always feel free to message me and stuff. Like I, I am a person and I do respond. Good job.

Melissa:

You heard it. You heard it here. She is a person and she does, but don't send her hateful messages, cause that's yeah, yeah, you just get deleted and blocked when you do.

Joelle:

I don't even like it anymore.

Melissa:

Wilma's blocked list is pretty long. I'd be embarrassed to show you what my block list looks like.

Joelle:

I bet you ours is probably very similar to me.

Melissa:

It may be the same people. I don't know, it could be, it could be, but I'm going to ask you three random questions. Okay, so you ready.

Joelle:

I'm ready.

Melissa:

If you could be any chicken breed, what would it be and why?

Joelle:

Any chicken breed, and why, oh, that's hard? That's hard because I I'm thinking about, like all of them and just I guess I've I probably the favarole, the salmon favarole, because they're just awesome and goofy and like outspoken and they are colorful and fluffy.

Melissa:

Yeah, yes, we absolutely love them.

Joelle:

Yes, and they are not afraid to just like tell you what they want. You know, grab a snack right out of your hand, practically out of your mouth. I've had that happen before. We just got so much character love. That's that would be my choice.

Melissa:

Okay, that's a good answer. I like that. Did you have a crush growing up? Did you fangirl? Did you have like a hero? Did you have like someone who inspired you?

Joelle:

I, I'm also a musician, so in a singer.

Melissa:

So are you going to sing for us or no? I can buy myself chicken. There she is.

Joelle:

Well, actually I mean that audio is from a friend on our. You know one of our friends, katie from Greg's chicks. She did create that audio. But yeah, I was just singing her version.

Melissa:

Did you have a crush or did you fangirl? Did you have a hero, somebody my well?

Joelle:

my because I was a musician. Basically it was Joni Mitchell and Chris Cornell. I know two very different artists but, yeah, because I was a singer, I still am singer and musician, so those two artists in particular were very close to my heart. So but okay.

Melissa:

So do you have a place where we could watch you sing, or is it broadcast at all? Is it secret and we're not to know about it?

Joelle:

Oh, no, no, no, Like I actually lately I've been singing in a duo called Stereo Angels and sometimes, if I remember, because I I'm really bad about social media, except for Chicken Happy Hour, but like my personal ones, like I was so neglected and I neglect that page too, because I'm just so consumed with Chicken Happy Hour.

Melissa:

Right.

Joelle:

But I, we do have a page Stereo Angels and yeah, sometimes I I remember to post our performances.

Melissa:

Okay, yeah, I'll heard that We'll have to go flood that account and check it out, and. But the last question was who would you like to see on our podcast? Who? Who do you think should come on next? That doesn't mean they're going to agree and come on, but we can give it a shot.

Joelle:

Who would I love? You know, who actually I would be really curious is I think their name, their, their handle is Pluma, the RV Sarama.

Melissa:

Yeah, I don't know who that is.

Joelle:

We're friends on Instagram and I think that they they travel around like with their birds in like an RV.

Melissa:

I see, yeah, that's interesting.

Joelle:

I would kind of like to hear what that's about. You know, like that just seems really cool.

Melissa:

And it is it's very unique.

Joelle:

Yeah.

Melissa:

We'll have to look at it, yeah.

Joelle:

And she also I think it's a she forgive me if I'm wrong the creator, but posts like the rooster, like he just had like a baby chick born and showing him like taking care of the chick, and I'm just like this is amazing. But I mean, there are so many incredible like chicken people and content creators that I am lucky enough to know and that one just sort of stuck out in my mind because just how unique of a situation it is. I agree that is very unique and, yeah, I would be curious to hear that story.

Melissa:

So if our listeners wanted to find you, where could they find you?

Joelle:

Well, I am on Instagram chicken happy hour and they talk also chicken happy hour Facebook chicken happy hour Facebook. Though you, it's a little trickier over there. I mean, I'm the largest account chicken happy hour. There are some imposters over there that I'm trying to take down. The one with the largest presence on there. So that's me, and I also am on YouTube, but not you know my posting. There is a little kind of yeah, I have, I'm on all platforms, but the ones where you can really find me are those three.

Melissa:

So I don't know if you can hear Nuggets, my to lose goose. He's in the background screaming. Oh no, I can't. Actually he's right outside my shoes, he shed, which is where we record. He knows I'm in here so he can hear my voice. So if you're screaming.

Melissa:

it's not actually a child, that is, that is a little goose. But anyway, we are so grateful for you. We appreciate you taking your time Once again. The tragic that happened up until today trying to get us on our audio equipment didn't work right. It was just a total nightmare, but Joelle was sweet enough to stick it. Stick it out, you know, and stay with us. So we definitely appreciate you and you all go follow Chicky. Thank you and happy hour. She's on all the platforms and thank you so much. Thank you.

Melissa:

This was so fun. Thank you for having me. I'm so glad. Thank you so much, bye, bye, take care, I'm Mel and you are listening to Wilma the Wonder Hen.

Chicken Happy Hour
Chicken Keeping Tips and Community Support
Building a Secure Chicken Coop Tips
Social Media and Chicken Keeping Reflections
Growing in the Chicken Community
Chicken Happy Hour Creator and Her Role
Gratitude for Guest Amidst Technical Difficulties