Wilma The Wonder Hen Podcast

EP 29 DeafChick:You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Own Chickens

December 04, 2021 Melissa Season 2 Episode 29
Wilma The Wonder Hen Podcast
EP 29 DeafChick:You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Own Chickens
Show Notes Transcript

Today's guest is Melissa, AKA DeafChick! Melissa is  an advocate for herself and a Disabled Rights Advocate for others. 
Topics include:
1. Fighting to keep her companion chickens.
2. HOA covenants and backyard chicken keepers.
3. Tips for keeping healthy chickens.
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Tiktok: https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdj8kcKe/


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Mel:

Hi, Melissa, how are you today?

Melissa DeafChick:

Oh , wonderful.

Mel:

I just have to say, I love your hair. I love the blue and it, you can't see her, but it's a fabulous blue and I kind of want to do it. I've always wanted to add a little boot or something in my hair, but I'm always afraid.

Melissa DeafChick:

Yeah. I have the fortunate of I've been in ministry for a long time, but one of my former youth students actually became a cosmetologist . So she keeps me going. The , we started the blue back in 2013 it's which they can't see , but it's a teal blue and that's the weirdness Keller or endometrial cancer, which I'm a survivor of. And also for interstitial cystitis, I'm going to do with the bladder. So I get a lot of stairs , most of them. Nice. But yeah, that's what the blue ,

Mel:

Hey, y'all I'm male and you're listening to Wilma the wonder hand , Are you a chicken math, 11 mama daddy together. We'll dive into the latest poultry keeping adventures. Shout about everyday life, where the generous mix of some hilarious stories, Bringing you fascinating interviews where culturally owners from all over you'll find tips and basically get guys from your local veterinarian, along with new chicken, keeping gadgets and reviews. I'm going to see what Mr. Jangles and Wilma has to say about that. We're going to encourage and help you build a stronger, healthier flop. Let's go see what Mr . James a Wilma is up to. Let's go let these heifers out. Welcome back. We are so excited to have you with us today. Today's guest is Melissa. She is known as the death chick and we are super excited that she is here today. She is , um, pretty amazing , uh, once you hear her story and the things that she's been through and she is a fighter. So hi, Melissa, how are you today?

Melissa DeafChick:

I'm doing good. Thanks for having me on.

Mel:

We are so excited and I know our listeners can not wait to hear your story. So if you would like to start with a little bit of a background and let our listeners kind of get to know you

Melissa DeafChick:

Sure I am pushing 50 believers, but I've , I was born and raised in , in Indianapolis. Um, then like high school area. I started moving a little bit further south, and now I live in the rural, a rural county, just outside of Indianapolis and a large subdivision that's split between three different counties, which all three of those counties do allow in their county ordinances for Paul tricky thing . But my subdivision of 2300 plus residents actually has some covenants that are outdated. Um , they, you started writing them in 2001 before they even sold plots and here, but it it's, and I've worked very hard to get this changed and that I probably not going to get it changed, but , um, I'm not the only chicken keeper here. I'll, I'll I'll point that out. But , um, I went, went through quite a bit, a couple of years ago , um, which got me on the journey of poultry keeping , um, we, we lost a child that we had a post-adoption contract for. Um, we had some retaliation from the department of child services. Um, so they , they took the child, even though the mother had executed the contract. So they took the child. Then I ended up having , um, some, some major surgeries involved as well. And then my best friend, my grandmother , um, is suffering with dementia and Alzheimer's and we had to put her in a memory care facility and then boom COVID hit. So it was a little bit of a struggle , um , emotionally, and, you know, my family doesn't live pretty close by me, so it was a struggle. So I was, I was in , um , therapy and my therapist suggested, well, you know, you need to embrace a hobby, either create a new hobby or visit an old one. So I kind of channeled my inner four age in times from school. And I'm like, you know what, I'm just going to , I'm going to start me a back yard flock. And I wasn't the only one at that time that had chickens, either someone about three doors down , um , had dueling cockerels or roosters going. So I'm like, well, I knew of the covenants against their wording was agriculture can not be kept on your lot. And I'm like, well, there's other people that have them. They're not really agriculture anymore. Um, chickens were reclassified. I believe it was February of 2017 by the USDA from livestock to domesticated bowel . So you should be able to keep chickens. You should be able to keep , um , turkeys , poultry, quail. Um, it says waterfowl as well. Those are all legally classified as domesticated. Now that I have a really horrible Karen neighbor next door he's made my life miserable for a decade when we moved in and she told us that straight out, she does not like children. She does not like animals and we're not supposed to have community cats, but people have cats out here that they're not, they're not taking care of them. So a couple of our neighbors and I, we take care of them. We've made sure that they've been spayed and neutered microchipped, and then they're, they're actually registered to the neighbor behind me's house. So, but , um, caramel will track them. So needless to say, animal services knows her very well. So I had , I started my little flock in March of last year in 2020. And , um, of course, you know, your minimum, if you go to , uh , say tractor supply, rural king is six. So I started out, started out with six and , um , all was well. And at that time , um, she knew that I had chickens. Um, we have a, I guess you call it the good neighbor fence where you can, if you look at an angle, you can see into the next person's yard. So I would, I would be outside. I don't think she can necessarily see me, but I also have a service dog and I would let him out to party and stuff. So I was just sitting in a lawn chair on our deck and she was out watering her plants. I saw her spraying her hosts through the fence at the chickens and at my dog. So that gives you an idea of how to , I mean, cause they weren't, they weren't, they might , but , um, she continuously complain. Um , then she, I ended up reaching out to the HOA and asked for a reasonable accommodation, which unfortunately, a lot of people aren't aware that you can even do that. Um, but you can, if you have , um, a , a disability or even others, physical or mental, you can request a reasonable accommodation to go against those HOA covenants that say, you know, I think it's reasonable for me to have this little flock. Um it's and I let them know that, you know, my therapist recommended that and they , during COVID I was doing teletherapy and they were, they were involved in the Telesphere because this is like , I want to say the chicken , I'll see how they're doing, so I'd be outside with it. So

Mel:

How would someone go about getting that , um , requesting that, sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you, but I think that they're important points that probably most people don't know about.

Melissa DeafChick:

So if you get a violation from your HOA, then on, in your violation letter, it states it should state that you have the ability to request a grievance meeting. So we requested a grievance meeting with the HOA board and it had the secretary, all the board members and then their attorney on was, it was through zoom at that time because of COVID. And , um, we had already had a petition from now , our other neighbors, except Karen, who said that they didn't have any problem with our chickens. And it was every, every single person whose property surrounds ours, except her, and then a couple of people across the street. And at that time I did end up having a Cockerel who was extremely loud. And I, I apologize to everybody. I'm like, I'm so sorry if it's the noises is , you know, and then coming to you and most everybody, except Karen had a problem, had no problem with it at all. So she called the HOA about it. So then I got violation letter about the tickets . So I requested the grievance letter, but at that time they , they, weren't very nice to work with. They're still not nice, but , um, I requested the grievance meeting and I had a couple of our neighbors in , in our house while we did the zoom meeting. And I actually even went and pulled out at that time. I only have and do clothes . So I showed them like, all this friction that I'm encountering is over this chicken that doesn't even weigh a pound. I'm like, no , I'm like you guys haven't seen my flock. You're just assuming that I got large fowl back here. And , um, so they, they , and I explained to them, you know, that I am disabled and I had my poor access at that time. And , um, I told them, you know, for me, this is, this has given me a set scheduled as , you know , helping me to , um, get out and be social. Even with the chickens. I need this , this , this for my own health. So the attorney, he said he didn't have a problem, but he wanted it to , uh , in a contract. And , um, and that was, this was actually before we discuss a reasonable accommodation, but I asked, I asked , um , for the, in the grievance meeting, if we could consider, allow me to keep them. So they, they said they didn't have a problem that they would discuss it to see what they felt was reasonable to keep. So keep in mind, I had six. So , so they , they came back and they said, well, we think it's reasonable to have four, but you have to take your poop down. They have to be kept inside the house. And we will allow you to let them outside to potty in your yard, four times a day for a maximum of an hour each time. And this contract, I assume the secretary drafted it because it wasn't a really legally standing contract. But , um, yeah. So, and they don't have chickens apparently or never . Yeah . And in , in, in their contract, they wrote to that , um, that they had to be bantams and that bantams do not lay eggs, therefore they're not chickens. So they really don't know anything. But my, my counter with that is that I supplied the letter from my therapist and I actually have a legit written prescription for chickens. And then I have a draft, a letter, and I, before I got my attorney involved, I, I share overshared a lot of my medical diagnosis, which that's one thing, if someone's going to pursue this avenue, be careful not to overshare anything. Cause it's another business. Yeah . It's absolutely none of their business. And they, they push because I don't know how or why, but it falls under HUD law. Even though I have a mortgage I'm not living in an apartment building or I'm not running, it falls under head law . So I overshared and even in this process while we were trying to get them to agree and have this confidential contract, Karen next door was still calling and complaining. So they, and she said something to me as well. And I told her, I said, I'm already in discussing , discussing it with the HLA . I don't have anything to say to you about it. And she actually told me, well, you are never going to fit in here. You are a hillbilly, you belong out in the country somewhere. And , uh , and I had to remind her , um , Karen, we live in rural, in a rural county. Um , and you grew up in the country, which you're calling me and hillbilly. And I take as a compliment because of my ancestral heritage. But when she couldn't get anywhere with the HOA, because we were already in this legal contract working on that, she called animal control. So yeah. So, and I know, Melissa, do you have chickens? I'm like Tony, you know, I do. It's like, well, someone has made some complaints and I'm like, I already know who it is. And he's like, well, I have to get back on their welfare. So he had to look at the flock and he just laughed. He's like, these are those most spoiled pampered chickens I've ever seen. And , and he said, well, she's called in an odor nuisance complaint and a noise nuisance complaint. Well little did she seem to pay attention that I, when I realized that that rooster was really loud, even for me with my hearing aids , it just, it , the trill of it was actually hurt. So I made the decision to bring home him. Um , and there's a feed store , um, in down while it's past downtown Indianapolis, it's a bit of a drive for here, but they'll, rehome your rooster for you for $15 rehoming fee. And then anyone that wants a rooster can just go on and get a rooster. So I made that painful decision with this chicken that I bonded with him and rehomed him. And they send you a receipt through the email. So I provided the HLA with their receipt , showed animal control officer, and I'm like, I don't have any cockerels . I don't have any roosters. So I don't know what her noise complaint could be about. I mean, and even so every store's not going to be as loud as the dogs that live directly behind her. And then the odor nuisance. I , I mean, I, I don't have any , anything to say about that because there he's like, well, I don't smell anything. I'm like, well, I just mucked everything out. And I currently have omelets that have the Tracey , you can pull them out and knock on. Yeah. So I saw I'm like, he's like, well, I don't smell anything. I don't hear anything. And I'm going to tell her that her complaints are unfounded and be it to them. So at that point, I served her with the cease and desist, and I laid out everything that she's done hateful against us since we've lived here. And so that got served with her and then she continued to make complaints. So then I had to inform her that because I have the cease and desist about her, she thinks that all of her complaints to the HOA or are anonymous, but because of the cease and desist, they are discoverable evidence. If I were to subpoena the HOA for the source of the complaint . So now thank God, knock on wood. She stopped going, but going back to the HOA, the , just the whole, it was just ridiculous. Their contract that they, they suggested, you know, I had to , they didn't like my coop , which I have a six foot privacy fence that shouldn't matter to anybody they can see. And I, and it was one of those that looks like a little kids would in play house. I mean, it was nice. It was a gift to me from the deaf community , um , in this area. So I, I felt bad, but I'm like, yes, I could keep them in the house with a small flock like that, but why should it ? And I, so I, in my advocacy work, cause I I'm an app , I'm a disability rights advocate as well. Um, one of my friends is an attorney and she's, she's like Melissa, cause I was going to share even more medical diagnosis. She's like, you've already shared too much. So like , it's very clear that your HOA is not aware of, of ADA law when it comes to reasonable accommodations, she's like just hire me. And she had a sliding scale , um, that you think God, but , um, she was like, I'll , I'll step in. And at that point, when she got involved, it was , um, my third request for reasonable accommodation, the HOA wasn't taking it seriously. So we ended up having a meeting at a deli and sat down and talk, talk with this lawyer. And he was very arrogant and I'm sure your other listeners will find if they go down this route and you might end up with an HOA that isn't familiar with ADA law and reasonable accommodations. But we argued that you're telling me that I have to get rid of the coop . I, if you're allowing me to have the chickens, you have to allow me to provide them with , um, shelter and , and natural habitat. And I'd explain , you know, they're there in the cube. They have a run. I need that to keep them protected because there's predators out here, raccoons, there was a raccoon living on the other side of the fence and the neighbors are, and um, it started a family back there, but then we've got Hawks and stuff as well. So he said, well, the people behind you that have two story houses can look out their window and see your coop . Do they have dog houses like in your ear while they're there while the there's the neighbor that we've got the community cats register too . She has cat condos in her backyard. And there are some people with dog houses and dog , um , the dog runs, but , um, we also have outdoor, we have outdoor cats and we have a covered dog kennel. That's attached to a deck box for them. So it's insulated so they can go in . And well, I think I re I'm kind of starting to wonder, and if they saw that, that I have for the cats and assume that that might've been the cube because we did have that up on the deck. So we , we moved that back by the fence, but he told me that I had to have a coop that they would approve of that I had to send the schematic everything over. They didn't like the style of my Coupa's what , what the wording was, how , yeah . And I'm like, I have a six foot privacy fence, but then he tried to tell me that, that that's not a privacy fence. So I'm like, well, have you stood in the easement behind my yard and looked in my fence? And he said, no. I said, well, then don't tell me it's not a privacy fence. Cause I'm like, you're going to have to explain that to my insurance company that just had to rebuild half of it. Cause we have a tornado come through here. And it was like, they paid a lot of money for the six foot privacy fence. I'm pretty sure it's a privacy fence. But um, anyways, Karen ended up redoing her side of the fence cause ours was connected to her. So it's all solid slaps on her side . So now she shouldn't be able to look in and , and whatever. So anyway , I said, well, okay, well I, if you are going to allow me to keep them the chickens, I will agree. I'll do an omelet. I glue CU cube coop with a run. So I have a provide the schematics for the run and everything and explain which it's actually, it's actually taller than the one that I had. It's still under the six feet. But , um, so he said, well, we think it's reasonable for you to keep for , with the new cube and we'll allow you to have that the Mount side . And so my lawyer stepped in and she's like, I'm just going to point out that the letter states that it would be, it would not be beneficial for her to have to get rid of any chicken that she's bonded with or to call any . And I told him, I'm absolutely not going to call any, you said, well, we just don't want to end up with a scenario. Like we have with another resident that has 18 plus chickens in their yard. So I went, he told us in that meeting that he would approve of the online. He just needed me to send the pictures and all the facts on that. So I went on ahead and ordered it. And of course it , it comes in several different boxes for them . So it took a while . So once that was done, my attorney let them know, okay, the other cubes been taken away. Now that she's got this coop , we're good. So we had, we finally got them to sign a green to allow me to keep my six Bantam chickens. And they were very specific that they put in the contract. No, cockerels no roosters. There's only, only hands. So we've got that down . And within a week I got a letter from the last time Karen complained to the HOA and complain about must have been like an odor nuisance, but they, their letter to me, it was specific it specifically read , um , please be a good neighbor and remove all chicken poop from your property. And I had a laugh with my attorney friend. I'm like, how do they know that any kind of odor is chicken food concerning? I have cats. And then the other guy, he's got two bull Mastiffs. I'm like, how know that that is chicken poop, compost everyday . And I , and I told him, Phil said , if it's, if it's raining, I'm not going out there and mucking. But if , when it's not raining, I gladly muck it out every day. So like, whatever, they they're just, they're just ridiculous. So

Mel:

It's hurt her. Someone is hurting , she needs to snuggle with a chicken she's snuggling . One of those sweet little Vietnam's . She would, they'd be like the Christmas story or something.

Melissa DeafChick:

And the snuggle is Israel. Let me tell you, there's nothing. There's nothing that I can do. That's gonna change her mind. But I just think it's funny that she called me a hillbilly and we live in the country. She, she grew up even further in the country, but yeah. So, yeah. So I, and I see a lot of times in the central Indiana groups , um, and even in indie chickens and backyard chickens, where they've gotten a letter from the, from the city, from a neighbor complaining or whatever that found out that they've got chickens and they tell them , you know, you've got one, one, I think she was given 10 days and other person was given a week, but they had to get rid of their chickens. And people are afraid, which that's reasonable to be afraid when you get a letter from the HOA or from the city. But you should also stand up for yourself. I think a lot of people laugh when you say chickens are emotional support animals, but they are,

Mel:

Well, most of our listeners will tell you that some of them have come off of anxiety medication they were used for during times of depression, you know, really struggling with their mental health and their flock has made a huge difference. So yeah, they are definitely therapy.

Melissa DeafChick:

Yeah. So I, and I, I think we shouldn't knock that concept, which I , I, I hope that, you know, other people out there in the chicken community will accept that those, that they are ESS , but, and not fake make fun of people because people that are in that situation where they've gotten the notice that they've got to get rid of flock, they're just like, you know, they're asking for help. So if you've got the, yes , the information to help them then step in and do it. But , um, I think there's a lot of outdated heaviness or outdated ordinances. But with the HOA, the reason I say, I don't think it will ever get changed here is that we've been trying to get , um, sheds approved for the whole time that I've lived here, which has been almost 11 years. But we had to do a majority vote with all 2300 residents. And we had to get a majority vote to say, yes, we will allow the sheds . So if you had a shed put up, you had to take , they made you take it down or they, they threatened legal consequences. But, but now they said, you can have a shed. But now we've been trying for two years when we pay our dues to get people, to turn in their voting ballot, just to change the legal covenants legally, because that's like a whole nother step. So right now my, my contract is confidential. People can call and complain, which I'm sure Karen has about my chickens, but since it's a confidential contract, all, all they're allowed to say legally is that we have a confidential contract agreement with Melissa to have her chickens. They're not supposed to say how many it says I'm allowed to have, or why I have the confidence of me . They're not allowed to disclose it's a reasonable accommodation. So then of course, on the community chat for the subdivision, people will make comments about , um, oh, are we allowed to have chickens? And then someone commented, well, I know of a particular person that does have chickens and then had another resident said, well, she's probably gone as emotional support animals. And then they all joked about that. So that wasn't funny, but I did have another neighbor . I , I happened to be in the hospital at that time last year. And she posted a picture which was fuzzy of chickens in her backyard. And I saw a white blob and I saw a black blob. So I'm like, oh my God, those are my chickens. But she put my address on this forum and say , can someone please tell the resident at this address that chickens can fly. And they are in my backyard. So I had a net and net , the neighbor that takes care of the community cats . She called me at the hospital and she's like, they just put your address on the public forum. So I'm commenting. And I'm like, assuming that they are my chickens, I'm coming. Those are my chickens. I'm getting discharged from the hospital today. I will come straight there from the hospital. Please take my address off of this post. And she didn't take my address off the post. So we go straight to her house from the hospital and I'm like, you know, Christina is her name. She doesn't live here anymore. I'm like, I'm here for your chicken for my chickens. And she's like, well, they're already gone. So I'm like , um , okay, well, please take my address off of the community. Chat. My address, shouldn't be on there. Cause at this time I have people threatening to jump my fence and kill my chickens and it was nasty. So I came home and I was just assuming that they were my chickens. Well, they were not my chickens. My husband, thank God actually had mine still in their coop and run this. This was before I had the omelet . So it was the other ones. They were still confined in there. So he hadn't thought to let them out before he came and got me at the hospital. So those were not my chickens , the people that were next door, but my address was out there for hours. And then finally the admin said, you've got an hour to take her address down, or I'm going to remove the post. And she still didn't take it out. So the admin took the post down. But after that, I had raw chicken thrown in my backyard three times. So we ended up having security cameras back there. We have it in the front, which catches anyone that walks along the side of the house. But I would have to say that it's either going to have been Christina or it's going to have to have been Karen because of where it fell in the yard. But I know chickens will eat chicken, but I didn't want my dog to get this rotten nasty. Absolutely not. It was just , it was ridiculous. So that was put in by the way, in the cease and desist or for Karen. So, but I think moving forward I've mistakes that I have made would have been not to live in an HOA that might be for some people, but it's , it's, it's not been here . You, you can't, they , they can, if you need to read the covenants. I mean, when , when we got the copy of all of our subdivisions covenants for the attorney, she's like, this is ridiculous. So it was almost 500 pages of ridiculous stuff, which I knew some of it was, you can't grow anything taller than two feet because I got, and I complained, I gotten a complaint from where Karen complained that I was growing something in my garden behind my six foot privacy fence that was talking her . She actually, in the letter, it was worded that I was growing taller than four feet. And the only thing I had was a Blackberry Bush on trainers. So at that time, yeah, so my husband got upset and wanted to fall in line with the covenants. Didn't want any legal action taken. So he took vegetation killer. He killed everything in my garden and my flower beds. So I lost my great-grandmother's a hundred plus year old rosebush that I'll never be able to get that because that came from my cutting from the farm. So, so you can see where I'm not taking any more crap from the HL. I've lost too much. So the chickens are staying, but I, people need to read those covenants because one thing that surprised me is you can't have here. You can't have any signs whatsoever in your yard. So we have like, we back the blue lives matter. Um, there was a teenage biker that had an accident last year , um , from dirt biking and he was paralyzed. So we all put signs saying Lucas strong in our yard, which they let us keep those signs supporting him for a couple months. And then we all got letters saying we have taken down. So I had a just be kind sign, which their attorney approved on the grievance call and my attorney and I met with him. He said, I have no problem with your just be kind sign. So even after, so after all this, I still , I still got a letter dated October 21st that this was my final notice that I need to remove my just be kind sign , which happened to be on the side where Karen is. So I ended up making it into a garden flag and have it off of a pole in my tree, in my front yard. So that is past crazy. But yeah, you can't have any signs . We had people got in trouble for supporting public education science as well. So there's some education that needs to be there . Yeah . And then another resident had his , um , flag that he was presented when he retired from the army. They put him in those that he had to take his flag down, which I'm pretty sure that's constitutionally not valid, but they actually came onto his property and removed the flag. Yeah. So he had to go up to the office and found it in the trash. So yeah, they're , they're not kind, but they can also control the wording and ours was, they are allowed to dictate what type of animal you have inside your house that is even a pet. So I live out in the middle of nowhere. That's my, that's my goal. That's why I'm trying to get out of this HOA and head south or a little bit more, more rural where I'm not in an HLA , but yeah. So, but I will say that even after my contract got approved and been doing good here lately, knock on wood. There is another neighbor. Now, the other way that has, is keeping chickens and she's got a cough and a lot of people call the HOA to complain about her Cockrell . And I have the prove that that's not mine. I will say I have a cockroach , but I'm keeping him in the garage right now. But , but yeah. He's and he's, you can't hear him if he, if he crows anyway, but yeah. But yeah , so these neighbors technically could have chickens if they want in . There are quite a few. No , though . Yeah . They just don't know . That is a

Mel:

Fascinating story. And you definitely can tell that the amount of passion and excitement that you have, not just for your chickens, like my daughter is permanently disabled. We have had to fight for the last 19 years. She has a rare neuromuscular disease, lots of stuff that goes with it. But , uh, it's unknown by many, many even specialists. She's that rare. Uh, but we've had to fight literally for all of her equipment. But what I'm saying is I appreciate you for what the work that you have done and not just for yourself. I feel like you're, you're also advocating for other people. So for me as a mother with a disabled child, it does, it warms my heart so much that , uh, that you were doing that. But we would like to ask you, if you had three tips that you could share with our listeners on what you would be your best top chicken keeping tips ,

Melissa DeafChick:

Um, I would say, get involved with in social media with, you know, find your people, your chicken people find them you'll, you'll end up , um , meaning wonderful people like Mel , um, on Tik TOK, Instagram, even on Facebook, because that you're going to have a plethora of resources that you can get information from. And then you'll also be able to talk about other people's integrity . So if like there's a certain breed that you want to get, or , um , maybe have questions about you'll find the correct breeder that you would want to handle with it. Also, I, I started with , um, started getting silkies last year and I didn't understand stand about right. The right neck is kind of a common and I, and I ended up, I had two of my friends that are , um, breeders . They one told me and to get the rooster booster and Polk pre-sell and then go paste and like goat pastes . And so I , I was looking everywhere. I ended up, I went to four different , um , feed stores, home saying stores , not in just Indianapolis, but Greenwood, Avon playing , but I looked everywhere. I'm not even the one just down the street from us and more so I couldn't, I couldn't find it. I finally found it way far away. And it was labeled as lamb paste, I

Mel:

Guess. It just depends on yeah,

Melissa DeafChick:

Yeah, yeah. So, so just like stuff like that, like I wouldn't have known to check for something goat related for my chicken. And so this is like tips you'll get from other people. And then they let me know, you know, how much, how much they recommended for dosing, which that's also a thing there's a plethora of resources. People have a plethora of opinions and maybe not, all of them are the ones that you should be following. And , um, that's our

Mel:

Biggest,

Melissa DeafChick:

Especially because veterinary care is a lot of theirs . I've seen a lot of shaming recently for people that have acquired chickens from other people, maybe they've rescued them or whatever, but they ended up having ailments like Bumblefoot and people were like, they were like, they were asking how to treat that. And someone shamed them, like, just take it to a vet. You don't deserve that chicken. If you can't take it to the vet. Well, where I'm at, there's not a, there's not a vet that will take care of chickens, not even where I take my dog is a horse and hound that they won't have anything to do with chickens. You have to take them to an exotic pet that would weigh up in north side of Indianapolis. And the starting cost is $450. Well , that's a big investment. Someone that's trying to rescue and save chickens. Yeah . I'm big anti-bullying and stuff like that. I'm going to put up with that, but, but just, I think it was , um , on tic-tacs if he pop had chronicled, how she treated Bumblefoot, I mean, that's stuff that you want to look for and you know, other people have experienced it, then you're going to find help . But then, then you also mentioned that the chicken handler book as well next , I think all the link on your webpage about that that's ,

Mel:

[inaudible] the chicken health handbook. I recommend that to anybody who ever , uh , is thinking about chickens or has chickens, but also like Merck vet.com. And there are some other ones that are backed by veterinarian and back .

Melissa DeafChick:

And I, and I will, I also highly recommend that you jump on any podcast or zoom webinar that you can, a lot of the , the feed companies Purina on combat , especially they're in lock down and with the capabilities of them, there's so much information stuff that you can go out there and then taking those webinars. Um , and so for the online too , from like combat trainer , whoever, you can also link in to get savings and stuff, or you can win stuff. Like one, it was on , um, that I took was on molt team and they had a veterinarian on there and she has taken us all around her farm and showing us , but at the end , um, she asked, okay, first two people that can give me three reasons why a chicken molds, then you'll get this. I was the pumpkin spice. That was a $20 feed blog . They just mailed it to the state, to my house . It was all very exciting. So yeah, that's look, look for your people, hop on the podcasts and the webinars and , um, but also research research, your covenants and ordinances where you live and also have your coop ready to go. Even if you're getting chicks or you're going to hatch them, had your coop ready to go, because some of them will, you know , grow really fast. Then we'll need that coop and make sure it's as predator proof as you can possibly get it actually

Mel:

Very good tips. I love every one of us . Is there anything else that you'd like to share before I ask you our three questions at the end? I mean , is there anything else you would like to mention anything?

Melissa DeafChick:

I would say that if you're going to , um, like someone advertises on a Facebook group that they want, they need every home, their flock, you need to inspect, touch , put your hands on any bird that you're going to consider, bringing into your flock, take biosecurity very seriously, but check them because then you're going to be able to detect if they've got any , um , deformations, if they're infested with poultry lice , which I had that happen to me, it was pretty disgusting. And then quarantine them away from your claw , uh , way from your flaw. I have them in my garage, but I had a brooder going as well. So I kept them far away from further, but take that seriously. But if someone's opposed to you coming and they may not want you on their home set, that's perfectly, that's perfectly normal reasonable requests , but before you take them home to your flock, inspect them.

Mel:

Definitely. I know a lot of , um , places do have close flocks. You know, a lot of the local breeders, I don't know, depending on the breeder, they do have a closed flock and they don't want you on their property for bio-security reasons, which I want to understand, but do they , there are other ways that you can like booties and , uh , foot dips and things like that. We only hatch birds here. I don't buy live birds and bring them in. Uh , that's just how we do it to prevent any, any issues of outside diseases and things. But even then, you know, that you still, you should be able to see the parents of the animal that you, you know, if you're going to buy a specific breed. Okay, Melissa, what do you think that each of us could do , uh, and that you can community to help each other? Or what do you think we are lacking? Uh, just a little insight on what , uh , pick your brain a little bit.

Melissa DeafChick:

Um , actually offering each other wisdom, especially the newbies. Don't give them such a hard time, you know, they're , they're just diving into this experience and you should want, you know , their block to be well-maintained and taken care of. So don't shame them for asking what seems to you like a silly question, because to them, it it's, it's truly new knowledge, help them along, help them in the process and you'll, you'll end up getting blessed in them . Um, but you touched a little bit about biosecurity as well, which I think you really should. If you're , um, you should take that seriously. I know a lot of other breeders, if you can come on the property and inspect the sire and the dam of any chickens that you're getting from their breeding projects , um, some will offer and the booties , um, I have separate muck boots that I use with my fork . And then I, I leave in the, in the car if I'm visiting someone else's homestead, but I always sanitize them , um , to , in between visits. But some respect if other people don't want you on their homestead, because some people have experienced taking them , um, birds that have maybe found out that they had Merricks and they need a lock down their flock . So they have the reasons and some may truly be authentic reasons why they don't want you to come in on their property, but be careful too , if you go to swamps , a lot of people here go to swap meets to sell their birds or can acquire birds, make sure you're laying down a tarp on the ground and have your cages sitting on that tarp. Um , because the disease can come off of another bird from another chicken keeper that in their dander or whatever, you just want to be mindful of. Cross-contamination because that is definitely a serious thing that you want to inspect these birds. You want to be able to touch them, check for any deformations. I have a special needs check-in and she's getting around just fine, but I'm want to check them for poultry, lice and mites. And someone actually put in one of our groups that they needed to, rehome a flock of 15 chickens. And they said that they , they did disclose that they had poultry mites on, on their feet. And that they'd been trying to treat them unsuccessfully for over a month. So then we're letting you know what prep , but not everyone's going to be, so you need to, you need to do due diligence. You didn't know what to look for. The first time I saw poultry lice was acquiring silkies from another, another brainer . And it was rather disgusting. I checked, I was checking the vents and there was just like all these bugs, like , so, but keep them. And when you bring the , if you decide to keep them and treat them, which I did, I kept them separate. I had them in their own bull quarantine breeder and away from any, any other birds I had on a route or away from my flock. Um, but just be mindful of that. But also if you're wanting to patch out eggs , um , and you acquire eggs from another person, do your due diligence there because I have acquired , um, I was trying to do a Prairie Bluebell Ecker project, and I acquired the mill Edgar eggs from an another breeder. And it was very clear that she did not pin each breed separately. And I I've been to her home sets. So she's got a fridge that she could do that. And she's got the actual different coops that she could do that. And there are times where you can allow them all to free-range. But if you're buckling down for breeding and you're wanting to hatch on eggs, don't advertise that you have this full breed available when you let it free range. And the other , because it was , it was very sad when several of the chicks hatched out and you could tell if they were crossed with her runs rooster, and then I can peer Brit and I paid a lot of money for those eggs. This isn't cheap if you get good eggs. So I knew that going forward, I'm not going to buy eggs from them, but yeah, same where they come from. If you, if at all possible is absolutely spot on,

Mel:

I agree. 100% and be honest with what you have to offer. So yes. Okay. Are you ready for your three questions? You've made it to the end and we are so

Melissa DeafChick:

Excited and bring it on.

Mel:

It's really not that intense, but it just kind of gives our listeners , uh, just an insight into how you are made up. So if you could put anything on a billboard, what would it be and why

Melissa DeafChick:

Just be kind, love, not hate. That would be another option. You don't have to, we can all have different opinions, but we can be respectful of each other. And it takes so much more energy to be nasty than it is to just be kind. You never know what someone else's is facing in their day.

Mel:

Absolutely. 100% facts. Yep . I agree. What is your favorite room in your house and why?

Melissa DeafChick:

I'm humbling ? My kitchen. I've got all my, my chicken signs on, on one of my walls. I grew up in my grandma's restaurant. She used to own a restaurant in downtown indie that was famous for selling hot Irish stew. It was named after my grandfather. So I learned to cook from her. Wow. I'm pretty good. Cook. And baker, everybody always asked for specific dishes and, and they know I'm the one we'll have to see . Oh yeah.

Mel:

Do you ever put your recipes online or

Melissa DeafChick:

Anything? Do you ? Yeah, I , I share a few on Facebook and I have shared recently in my sweet potato casserole does a feature that is on Tik TOK. If you go looking for it, it's on there, but yeah, I'd be happy to send it to you. I'm happy to just send you the , the Stu one. Yeah. It's all the Stu is so awesome. It's so good. But yeah, my kitchen is , is probably my favorite favorite room in the house. I feel comfortable filling my element pair . Oh ,

Mel:

That's a great thing. That's when you know you're doing it right. When you, when you get in the place where you're supposed to be, it just feels right. You just know it. If you can tell your younger self anything, what would you do? What would you tell her?

Melissa DeafChick:

Some serious battles coming up, but you are equipped to handle them all. Just remember to breathe here .

Mel:

Fighter. You're a fighter like my daughter. And I can appreciate that.

Melissa DeafChick:

I mean , not to be it's cause like you touched early about, you have to advocate for her. Some people won't go for themselves. They can't self-advocate and you've got the know-how . I think we go through some experiences in life because God wants to use you to bless other people. And throughout all my medical trauma, I've been able to use that to bless other people as I was never I've lived. Yeah. I lived with a feeding tube for seven years and I was discriminated in the workplace for having a feeding tube. So I was told it was a biohazard risk , but I I'm just amazed at how messed up our health system is too . We sh we shouldn't have to fight so hard to have our basic needs met. And I,

Mel:

My daughter, she has a paralyzed diaphragm and a paralyzed, vocal chords , and lots of things. And her voice. She had a trake when she was little and , uh, so many, many things, but , uh, she started working at 15 because she was just so excited to work, you know? And , uh , we fought hard to get the equipment cause she has a ventilator that she has to use and all kinds of things. But, but what it brought up in my mind is when you said about the workplace, because her voice is very small and very minimal because of the vocal cord damage and it doesn't open and close, like it's supposed to, and that child, and now she's 19. So the last four years she's heard from every customer, are you sick? Is there something wrong with you? What is wrong with you? Why are you working? If you're sick and I'm like, she's not sick. That's just the sound of her voice. And anyway ,

Melissa DeafChick:

I'm touched by that, but yeah, I will tell her,

Mel:

Thank you. That means a lot. And we appreciate you so much. You guys, where can our listeners find you?

Melissa DeafChick:

I may on Tik TOK under death chick , and then I am on Instagram, Instagram as well. And I believe it's , um, Def chick black, I think on Instagram. And then I'm , I'm on Facebook as well, but please don't slide in my DNA . I'm not interested in that if it's chicken related or yeah . Fiji . Yeah. I'll entertain. I'll help you . I'm always there to help I'm resourceful. And especially if you want to fight your HOA or they , the county ordinances, I I'm I'm in your corner. I will point you in the right direction. Always happy to hear

Mel:

It was an honor. We are so, so grateful and we appreciate you and I hope you have a good week and we will definitely see you next time, bio . And you're listening to the wonder hands

Speaker 3:

[inaudible] .