You have come to Tonya's page. Currently I am most interested in Coturnix Quail and the healthy eggs they produce. I would like to be able to sell to our local market.
I have over 25 years experience in all sorts of animal husbandry, animal behavior study and consulting, animal protection work, sheltering, and farming. I do currently reside in city limits and have a permit for Chicken keeping in Durango. We keep bantam OEG hens, Speckled Sussex, Silverlaced Wyandotte, Blue Wyandotte, and are going to hatch some Aracaunas for variety in our egg colors. 20 years ago, I kept Indian Runners, Khaki Campbells, and a variety of Chickens (mostly dual purpose). I used to compete in sheep herding with my border collies and had a flock of 65 Scottish Highland Blackfaced Sheep. I qualified with my first dog, Rose, for Nursery Nationals (dogs with exceptional herding talent at the age of 4 or younger). She was taught primarily on Ducks (the runners and Campbells) first. My dogs are taught to help gently guide the chickens in at night when they are reluctant. They are gentle and offer release of pressure when the birds become upset.
I have an undergraduate degree in Animal Behavior from Fort Lewis College having spent a summer trimester studying in Kenya Africa on the behavior of the Savhana Elephant in the Samburu region. I am Certified in Animal Behavior specifically for Dog and Cat, by the IAABC.
I do this (keep poultry and other animals) as it is my passion and now it is my 5 yr old son's passion. He abolutely loves everything from collecting the eggs to incubating, hatching, brooding, snuggling, caring for and selling or giving away his eggs.
We love fair and we will join 4-H as soon as he is old enough. We have won Grand Champion of the Show for our White Indian Runner pair. We obtained them from Holdereads. We enter something in fair each year. We are diversifying. We have had to rely on our family farm property in the past for keeping our birds. Now we are able to keep a limited number in town with us in addition to keeping many other animals on the family farm, Slowsprings Farm (slowspringsfarm.com site under construction now).
I believe that teaching children empathy for animals and good stewardship at a young age, creates a healthy, happy, responsible adult later on. Animals can be there for us when sometimes we feel all alone in the world due to the circumstances around us. I want my son and other children to know that this is still a possiblility in the modern world. If we take care of them right, the animals, in turn, give back.
I teach/coach/consult on animal care and behavior. Here at BYC, particularly in the Quail division, I am continuing MY OWN learning journey. It is good to be the student again.
I am greatful for BYC and the Quail division of it. I look forward to making new friends for years to come.