We had the good fortune of connecting with Chelsee Parsons and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chelsee, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor in my success would be, to have the ability to overcome my own mind. I have dreams, ambitions but I suffer from anxiety and depression. I’m also a mama to two beautiful daughters, being a mom is hard and exhausting. Add depression and anxiety and those things can be a hard block, mentally to break through. Sometimes I have to get out of my comfort zone, to achieve what I want. Some of the best things in life can come from being uncomfortable; like becoming a mom, or something as simple as trying a new dish at your favourite restaurant. As someone with depression all you want is to stay in that comfort zone and never leave. I can’t progress that way though. I need to be able to take risks and challenge myself.
For me the most important factor for my success is to have a goal and not be afraid to be uncomfortable to reach it.
Appreciating and knowing the worth of my product, chicken eggs, chickens, pictures of them also helps. There’s always someone out in life that may be doing the same thing, could be better than you. Doesn’t mean that your product/ business doesn’t have worth. We all attribute differently.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m not even sure I think of what I do as professional, I categorise it more as an art, or something that makes me happy. Artistically breeding chickens and the outcome of the birds, takes years and I may never get the exact bird I want so it’s a continuous art project for me. It’s different then painting a canvas, although I love to do that also. With chicken breeding, depending on what birds someone might begin with, will dictate how long it will take them to reach an ideal bird or hopefully birds that meet the standards. I like to follow for the most part the American Poultry Association’s book called the Standard of Perfection. It shows me the ideal version of recognized breeds. What details I want in each bird, feather colour, eye colour, body shape, etc. It also shows defects that someone would want to breed out of their breeding program.
My fun project that I’ve been working on for awhile is getting a rainbow egg basket. A rainbow egg basket is when a chicken owner takes their collection basket out to their coop and gathers eggs of different colours. Not just the typical brown or white. Different chicken breeds can lay a wide range of egg colours. I have Ameraucans who lay a beautiful light blue color, Marans that lay a dark brown/red, Olive Eggers that lay a olive green, Easter Eggers who lay a bright blue, and then a wide range of other breeds who lay the typical light tan. My egg customers love getting a carton full of beautiful eggs inside.
Now I do have a breeding project that will end up being a whole new chicken breed, that I’m very excited about working on. It’s a dream breed with some of my favourite characteristics included. Can’t share too much, but I’ll be happy to show them off later.
Breeding chickens and being an online influencer is not easy. First off, taking care of 50 birds is a whole task in itself. Keeping everyone healthy can be difficult. Especially if parasites come into play. They have been my biggest problem this year, I have never been hit like this before with them. Luckily, I think I have finally figured out the right mix of things to keep them away. I need my birds to be healthy and happy. Not just to be able to hatch future generations but because that’s my main goal with my birds.
Overcoming challenges like this can be hard to deal with, especially if I lose a chicken. But my new motto is, what did I learn from this? Take that lesson and do better in the future.
I guess what I’d want people to know about me and my life is that I learn, so I can do better. My chickens are my babies. Spoiled and loved. I do my best for them and it makes me happy. I like to share the good, and the bad so other chicken tenders can learn. And I learn from them also.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh my gosh, if any of you come up here to small town Eagar/ Springerville; I would definitely suggest going up into the white mountains. The pine trees, rock formations, and animals there are all very magical.
For food, y’all need to go get some good ole biscuits and gravy from Booga Red’s. Have lunch at Trailriders. Finish off with a fun evening with the best BBQ in Arizona at Avery’s. BBQ there is so amazingly mouth watering.
They could also go watch a movie at the local movie theatre, it’s the oldest theatre in Arizona at over 100 years old, the El Rio.
At the end of the evening get a big warm cosy blanket and do some star gazing. The stars are so beautiful and bright up here by the mountains. If you’re here up at the right time of the year you may even hear elk bugling.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My major support, love and encouragement would be from my parents and sister. They will listen to my dreams, aspirations for hours.
My Husband is a great support too, being my best friend. He helps me build coops, listen to my crazy chicken talk, and contributes to me reaching my dreams.
Also the American Poultry Association and the American bantam Association is a big influence on me and how I breed my birds.
All the YouTube videos, Facebook groups, blogs, websites on the internet that give information on how to care for chickens. I suppose those and other online influences were my mentors. I did so much research for years before I ever bought my first chickens.
I didn’t grow up in farming, I always loved animals though. I wanted to be a farmer like my Grandpa Brown who has 60 acres in Missouri with meat cattle. I remember riding on his tractor wheel well when I was younger, when he asked me, “Chelsee, are you going to be a farmer when you grow up?” I said with all the excitement in the world, “Yes!” My livestock is a lot smaller, only being chickens. But, I would say my younger self would be happy with me now. She always wanted to have chickens.
Other: Tiktok: The Little Black Hen
Chelsee Parsons River walk photo: Sherod Penrod