BYC Member Interview - ChickKat

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by sumi, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Kathy, known to BYC members as ChicKat, has been a member of our community since May 2011. Another of our wonderful all-rounders, she is known for her friendly and good advice, as well as her beautiful flock of Legbars and Isbars!

    1. Tell us a bit more about yourself. (Family, hobbies, whatever personal stuff you feel like sharing)

    In 2014 I moved to the "Piney Woods" of East Texas. It is just about an hour's drive from Louisiana and about an hour's drive from Houston airport.
    The land is beautiful here, it consists of lots of woods filled with pines, and intermixed hardwood trees. The soil is acid and sandy - and plants I was unable to grow previously such as blueberries and azaleas thrive here. The people here are genuinely some of the nicest people I have ever encountered.

    Another place where really nice people congregate is BYC. I truly am a BYC regular and I appreciate all I have learned from the forum, the friendly atmosphere and the friends I have made on BYC.

    Ginger" on the left, me on the right.

    My current breeds are Cream Legbars and Blue Isbars.

    2. Why and when did you start keeping chickens?

    2011 was the first year I had chickens. The first chickens were purchased for eggs, plus a bit of insect control and some compost to improve my garden.
    Barred Plymouth Rock was the breed of choice then, and when I went to pick up my two POL pullets, I also purchased a Golden Comet that was already laying.

    The Golden Comet was named "Henrietta" and was an amazing little chicken. Daily she marched up the ramp to the nestbox and produced an egg -- just like someone reporting for work. It is due to her than I became a true chicken addict. "Henrietta" had enormous personality and productivity wrapped in a small friendly package.


    My advice to anyone who wants to start with a few egg layers is to get a POL or later Golden Comet. (This hybrid is a Rhode Island Red male and a Rhode Island White female)

    3. Which aspect(s) of chicken keeping do you enjoy the most?

    All aspects of my chicken keeping are enjoyable, except dealing with any illness or death and the constant threat of predators. Chickens are easy to maintain livestock, amusing and entertaining pets, my own mini-descendants of dinosaurs, beautiful insect-eating yard ornamentation, fertilizer factories and they provide eggs. What's not to like? To single out just one aspect, I would choose their individual personalities. To keep up with individual personalities requires limiting to only a few chickens. Thirty is too many for me although I have the capacity and have had even more than that at one time-- 16 is a nice sized flock for my approach and schedule. Because I want to know exactly which pair produces which offspring—I keep 8 separate enclosures (coops and run) for chickens. Predators are a big concern for me.

    4. Which members of your flock, past and present, stand out for you and why?

    'Henrietta' as already mentioned, as the quintessential chicken. 'Bebe' my white Easter Egger was so cute and comical and the favorite of all the roosters she ever met. 'Amazing Grace' who survived an attack where a raccoon tore off her wing through 1" hardware cloth only to be later killed by a raccoon the day after she hatched her first four chicks.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    "Bebe" "Amazing Grace" and one of her chicks

    5. What was the funniest (chicken related) thing(s) that happened to you in your years as chicken owner?

    Three things come to mind at the moment. One was when "Amazing Grace" tried to fly off the porch although she only had one wing -- and was unsuccessful.

    The second one was when "Bebe", by that time the lead hen, taught all the others to fly over the 4' Poultry Netting to roam the ranch yard freely -- but "Amazing Grace" couldn't fly. She solved the problem by finding the one hole in the netting and scooting though the only place in 125 feet of netting that could possibly allow her though. She was an amazingly resolute little chicken who lived a nearly normal life and over came tremendous difficulty from the injury. Her courage was admirable.

    The third and probably the funniest happened a bit ago when I needed to leave on a trip and just as I was making final rounds to check up that the chickens would be all right in my 2-day absence, one cockerel got out of his pen. I must have spent over 1/2 hour chasing him down -- thinking that only his exhaustion would result in my success -- then he ran off into the woods---and in successive chasing, I went places in my woods that I had never been before, and even found some new paths. At this point if I didn't get him back in his pen, predators would be sure to get him that night. It ended by a run back into the yard and his returning into his pen through the same door that was left ajar. Game over. Needless to say my departure was late.


    “Lazy Boy” the attempted Escapee

    6. Beside chickens, what other pets do you keep?

    My fabulous Australian Cattle Dog (ACD) sometimes called a 'Blue Heeler'. - Everyone that comes over falls in love with 'Ginger'.



    7. Anything you'd like to add?

    Around 16 chickens is ideal for me right now. At one point and for most of the summer, I was really overwhelmed with eggs:


    I have one Isbar cock-bird and two hens -- all are blue. At this moment I have 3 adult Cream Legbar males and eight females -- 3 not yet laying. Everyone seems to look a bit scruffy at the moment because they are molting... but I have to include at least some photos.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    "Blue Roo" when his sickles grow back in they will be black "Olga" green speckled eggs - sometimes nearly olive


    "Dorothy", "Big Blue" (on the paver), and "Charlotte" - (dustbathing)

    "Robin" "Ice"

    My original pair of Cream Legbars from 2012 - they are going to be 4-years old in January

    Meanwhile, I have a major construction project of a two car garage with art studio above - and a room on the back of the garage to store feed and incubate and brood chickens - so I have high hopes for huge efficiency once this building is completed. There are too many adult males and too few females (although each male here has genetic traits that I wish to push into the future) it is high time to put some eggs in the incubator---once the construction fuss is finished.

    Framing for ground floor

    Thanks for the interest in our corner of the world.

    See here for more about the interview feature and a complete list of member interviews:
    1 person likes this.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  3. N F C

    N F C home again! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    Very nice interview! Your dog Ginger is beautiful and I enjoyed seeing the Cream Legbars. That new building is going to be so nice, a wonderful space to have. Thanks for doing the interview, it was fun getting to know more about you! Good job [​IMG]
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Thanks for sharing your story.
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Good job. Always fun to hear what others are planning.
  6. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Lovely interview :thumbsup
    I've really enjoyed getting to know more about you.
    Love the pics too!! Thanks for sharing.
  7. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Thank you all for the kind words! You are the best.... I do love the BYC community - as created by you and folks like you!
  8. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds! Premium Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Nice to meet you Kathy! Great stories, lovely pics! I totally agree about the Golden Comets. Mine are my favorite girls. Clockwork eggs! Good luck with that construction project. Completed pics will be expected!!
    1 person likes this.
  9. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    What kind of art do you do?
  10. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Digitally manipulated photography and acrylics and lately some 3-D things. Would like to start some new canvases that are BIG and inspired by Henri Rousseau meets Art Nouveau.

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