BYC Member Interview - CyndiD

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by sumi, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Cyndi, known to BYC members as CyndiD, has been a member of our community since February 2015. Another of our wonderful all rounders, she is known for her friendliness and her beautiful flock of chickens and ducks.

    1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

    Hello BYC members. I would first like to say that I am honored to be asked to be interviewed.

    I grew up in a sleepy little town in Calif. Right next door to Los Angeles, named Glendale. It was a great place to grow up in the 60’s. I grew up with my Mother and 2 sisters, both older than me. Ron, our step-father would take us on vacation every year, in the summertime, to a lake about 2 hours away. To me it was so adventurous and exciting. We would rent a tiny trailer and park it in a campground at Lake Isabella and let the fun begin. Ron would rent a small boat and we would go fishing for hours. I loved it. I have always been a tomboy and I have always loved to be outdoors. Growing up in the “concrete jungle” made we crave nature and the wilderness. Between the ages of 11 to 15 Ron would take me and my mom backpacking. We would hike Mount Whitney on the John Muir trails for 1-2 weeks. I was in heaven. Ron gave me the gift of the outdoors and taught me to respect nature and to appreciate its beauty.

    While hiking the John Muir trails I would take pictures of everything I had time for. This is when I fell in love with photography. I felt the need to capture all we saw, while backpacking, and I had to save the memories via photography. My Mom and Step-Dad gave me Sthe gift of a brand new 35mm when I was 15. All through high school and college I took photography classes with the dream of being just like Ansel Adams.

    Years later I had hundreds of photos of all my early adventures, my family and friends, etc. but most of my photos were destroyed about 10 years ago. I was so sad and still am over their loss.
    I have always had a love for animals. I used to find baby birds when I was a kid and try to mend them back to health, this did not always end well. I always liked dogs and was able to get my first puppy when i was 9 years old. She was my best friend; we chased each other around and around a palm tree we had in our small front yard. Then one day, about 4-6 months later, I came home from school and my puppy was not home. I can't even remember the exact conversation I had with my Mom as to why my puppy was not coming back home to me. I just knew Pepper and I were seperated forever. Parents are not perfect and they can make mistakes. Forgiveness is my moto. I do not hold grudges and I believe God is in charge and all I can do is believe that God is our Savior and Redeemer and have Faith in His decisions.

    I always wanted a horse of my own, but living in the city my mom could not afford boarding a horse for me. In 1993 I bought my first horse when I was 35 yrs old. I lived on 1 acre and could keep her with me. I still have her, she turned 27 yrs old this October.

    [​IMG] Me (back) and my sister (front) fishing at Lake Isabella, CA 1967

    [​IMG] Me and my Step-Dad Ron, we are cleaning our fish we caught, 1967

    [​IMG] Me at the summitt of Mt. Whitney, 1971

    [​IMG] The Bay horse (in front) is my first horse, she is 27 yo, the other 2 are our Missouri Fox Trotter's,

    Some of my Photography:
    [​IMG] Our back porch, Dec 2015

    [​IMG] Jade helping me feed the horses. I made the carting harness & my talented husband made the shafts for the wagon.

    [​IMG] My first Salmon, Tillamook, OR 2011

    [​IMG] Me on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in Riggins, ID catching a Steelhead, Feb 2013. "Women with Bait" fishing contest. I might have won if I didn't have to put my fish back, it was a wild Steelhead.

    [​IMG] Cool rock face images along the Salmon River.

    [​IMG] Lewiston, ID paper plant, 11/2011

    [​IMG] Our Ausie @ Dog Beach in Mission Beach, San Diego, CA 11/2013


    [​IMG] Playing Ball

    [​IMG] A Quilt I made for my Mother, 1/2013

    [​IMG] I am a Dallas Cowboy Fan, Dallas Stadium 10/2011

    [​IMG] Me and my Chickens 6/2013

    [​IMG] My first ducks, fawn and white Indian Runners, May 2014

    [​IMG] Peek n' Boo

    [​IMG] Peek n' Boo

    [​IMG] June 2014

    [​IMG] Peek n' Boo June 2014

    [​IMG] Looking at our home on 52 acres for the first time 6/2014

    [​IMG] Riding with friends one last time before we moved far away, 7/2014

    [​IMG] Me and my Lowrider Harley, 7/2014

    [​IMG] Me and Pat

    [​IMG] My first chick I hatched, 6/2015

    2. Why and when did you start keeping chickens and ducks?

    In 1996 is when I bought my first flock of chickens. I bought them from the local feed store. I had the usual backyard variety, LH, RIR, BR. I had 2 of each and they were all hens. I planted a vegetable garden and realized shortly that I had to fence it so the chickens would not eat or dig up my plants. When my tomato plants started getting tomato worms, those red horned green worms, I would collect the worms and throw them to the chickens and they would come running for them. It was not pleasant to see the chickens squish them. My neighbor was an older woman who could not see as well any longer, so I would gladly go over to her tomato plants and pick off her red horned green worms to give to my chickens.

    I fixed up a chicken coop, painted it and made more nest boxes. The chickens liked it. About 6 months later a guinea fowl hen wandered into our yard and stayed for about 4 months, then one day she was gone. It was fun having her around.

    One season I bought a few more chickens from the local feed store and was so confused when one of the white chickens grew very large very quickly and then she couldn't walk because she was so heavy. I called the feed store to ask what was wrong with my chicken and they explained that she was a broiler chicken and she was meant for eating. I was so upset and heartbroken. I did not want to eat her, she was my pet. I wanted to keep her for a long time, but I could not change her fate. I had a friend cull her. I was sad for a long time.

    I moved in 1999 and could not take my chickens (I gave them to a chicken lover) and I had to board my horses. I had 2 horses at this time. I did not have chickens again until 2012.

    Fast forward to 2009, my husband and I moved from Calif to Eastern Idaho. In 2012 I bought some chickens from the local feed store. I bought the usual backyard chickens again, with a few exceptions of some chickens I had never seen before. I bought 2 Buff O's, 2 SLW, 1 Seabright Bantam and a 1 Rosecomb Bantam, all turned out to be hens. We had these chickens for their eggs and as our pets. I got 2 roosters from a neighbor about a year later. One of my Buff O's started sitting on some eggs, 3 hatched on seperate days but did not make it past one week old. This was my first experience with a broody hen. Then my Rosecomb hatched one egg and this one survived.

    In 2014 my husband bought me 2 ducks from the local feed store for Mother's Day. The store employee told him that the ducks were Pekin Ducks. We both knew nothing about ducks. I started googling everthing about ducks on the internet and when I looked at my 2 ducklings growing tall and with dark feathers around their eyes and on their chest I found out that my ducklings were Fawn & White Indian Runners. I was so excited.

    My husband and I moved from Eastern Idaho to Northwest Idaho in 2014, and bought a home on 52 acres. We moved all our animals with us: 3 horses, 2 dogs, 2 ducks, 8 chickens and 1 snake. I had more chickens but I gave them to another chicken lover. She called herself a chicken hoarder. At the time I did not know what she meant. I do now.

    Shortly after moving to our home with all this amazing and beautiful land I noticed that one of my ducks started laying an egg in her nest box. I still did not know much about my ducks and was curious so I started researching Indian Runners and their egg laying & breeding habits. I thought I had a male and a female duck because I would see one on top of the other one. I only had one duck laying an egg so this reinforced my thought that I had a male and a female duck. But, then about 4 months later I started seeing 2 eggs, to my surprise and confusion. So, back onto the internet I went and this is when I found the famous Backyard Chicken site. I became a member and started asking questions about my ducks. I met tons of BYC members who were so friendly and eager to help me and answer all my questions. I found out that I had two female ducks. About 3 months later one of my Fawn & White ducks started sitting on her eggs. Well, I knew her eggs were not fertile, so I got on the Runner Duck Club thread on BYC, This is where I met @Amiga , who helped me out tremendouly. Thank you Amiga for all your help with my runners and thank you for your kindness. Then I met @Miss Lydia . Thank you very much for sharing all your knowledge on raising a healthy flock, Miss Lydia. I also met @Sarkchick during a time when she and I were both hatching duck eggs in our own homes. Thank you Sarkchick for your beautiful friendship and all your help.

    Well, to make a long story short, I wanted to get a husband for my 2 fawn & white runners so I decided to buy 12 ducklings from Metzer Farms. I bought them 1.5 years ago and now I have 29 ducks. And, I have 32 chickens. I would also like to say that I have met so many wonderful chicken lovers here at BYC and have made special friendships with ladies that live in my area. We have gathered together to talk chicken and the knowledgeable ladies have helped me with my breeding projects. Thank you @Saris , @UGLYFOOT , @WPFarmstead , @nanclapper , @country lovin and many many more, thank you.

    [​IMG] My ducklings from Metzer Farms 4/2015

    [​IMG] They are growing 5/2015

    [​IMG] My dh make a duck house out of a 4 horse trailer. 5/2015

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

    I love being able to watch their dynamics and pecking order. I am so intrigued when two ducks (on opposite sides of fencing) will be bobbing their heads at eachother and quacking loudly and vigorously, meanwhile another duck will waddle over to them and softly nudge one of the ducks, as if to say "that is enough" and they both stop and walk away. I love to watch when a few ducks will show kindness and gentleness to my "special needs" pekin duck, Ali. I love it when they all (chickens & ducks) turn their heads sideways to point one eye to the sky, all at the same time, to watch something fly by. I am thankful that my chickens and ducks are able to free range. They keep the bugs, grasshoppers and flies around our property at a minimum. I am thankful that we do not have to buy eggs from the market. In fact, we have more eggs than we are able to eat. I cook up the older eggs and feed them back to the chickens and ducks. My chickens like them more than the ducks like them.

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

    My first 2 ducks, fawn and white runners are my budies. I named them Pekin Boo, because the sales person told my husband that they were Pekin ducks. We have dug for worms and grubs so many times together, we have experienced hatching and raising ducklings together.

    I traded a chicken (pullet) for a cockerel, he was a buff colored bantam (Cochin, I think). I named him Zach, after the boy who owned him and couldn't keep him because of city ordinance. Zach was very friendly and bold at the same time. He strutted around the property and thought he was God's gift to the hens, he was, and he held his own with my larger roosters.

    I had a Buff O pullet who was very friendly and a happy bird, IMO. She would follow me around and stand on my feet when I would stop. If I sat on the grass she would sit with me and stand on my legs.
    I have a Buff O now, named "Buffy" (original name, huh?). She is the queen of the flock and beholds respect from all. She is not mean, she is simply a leader. Buffy and Mrs Fancy Pants (a Golden Seabright) are my only 2 broody hens. Mrs. Fancy Pants is my gardening buddy and knows when I am searching for worms or grubs for her and the ducks.

    I had a WCBP cockerel named Einstein, he was like no other chicken I have ever known. He understood what we were saying to him. He would follow us around the property and just hangout with me or my husband. He was so sweet, I miss him.

    Ducks and chickens:
    [​IMG] My SGD Hens

    [​IMG] My SGD Rooster

    [​IMG] RD Hen

    [​IMG] Einstein my WCBP, 7/2016

    [​IMG] Buffy & her chicks, 8/2016

    [​IMG] My F/W ducklings, 2/2016


    [​IMG] My BO & Blue Runner with their ducklings, 3/2016

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

    I have so many wonderful, warm and funny happenings with my ducks and chickens. What comes to mind right now...

    1. I have to put my "special needs" pekin duck into the pool backwards or else I get wet. Everytime I place her in the pool she gets so excited and takes both her large wings and webbed feet to push off and swim. She is like a horse out of a starting gate.... wham, there she goes and there I stand, soaking wet. That is why I now put her in the pool facing me and whoever is standing behind her better look out.

    2. Last year we had a lot of forest fires in our county and surrounding area, and we have a lot of lakes for the air tankers to fill up for fighting fires. Well, these planes would fly over our house very low. The first few times the planes would fly over the ducks and chickens, not being use to them, would panic and run for cover quickly. Funny and sad at the same time.

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

    We have 3 horses, 2 Missouri Fox Trotters (gaited horses) and an Anglo Arab (Arab and Thoroughbred) Gypsi, she is my first horse, we have experience life together as a team. Gypsi and I joined an equestrian drill team (Dust n' Diamonds) and have entertained audiences at Rodeos and Parades all over Calif.

    We have 2 dogs, a German Short haired Pointer and an Australian Shepherd. Both are amazing, loving and 90% obedient. They are both respectful of the chickens and ducks, well mostly. The Pointer gets overheated from running around our property and when she comes back home she always jumps into the duck pool, whether there are ducks in the pool or not, but she is very slow and respectful when there are ducks in the pool, she will stand on the side and very slowly put one paw at a time into the pool and the ducks will get out.

    We have meat rabbits. We have 6 bucks and 5 does. Our neighbor gave us 14 rabbits and I gave 3 away to a neighbor who has an animal sanctuary. The 3 rabbits I gave her are loving life at her home. They have their own outdoor pen and have made underground dens. It is amazing how well rabbits can dig. I love gathering food for my rabbits that they enjoy eating.

    [​IMG] Our GSP

    7. Anything you'd like to add?

    I enjoy BYC very much. I have made some wonderful life-long friends and I have learned so much about the world of ducks and chickens and raising healthy flocks. Thank you all very much.

    Some more pics… I have Pekins, Blue Swedish, Buff Orps and Indian Runners (Blue, Chocolate & Fawn and White Peek n' Boo)

    Aug 2016

    [​IMG] My Pekins and Buff O relaxing

    [​IMG] Mr. Right

    [​IMG] A Silver that my f & w's hatched

    [​IMG] Pekin & Choco Runner - Natasha and Sunny

    [​IMG] 3 BO Drakes, my ducks hatched them

    [​IMG] Pool Time!!

    My Lavender Orp project
    [​IMG] My pullets

    [​IMG] My cockerels

    [​IMG] My newest LO and Black O hens for breeding.

    [​IMG] My newest Polish

    My ducks I hatched, May 2016

    [​IMG] My Pekin, Sammi, I hatched

    I love these pic I took of the Elk and ducks... June 2016
    [​IMG] A choco, f & w and a pekin watching the elk come in.

    See here for more about the interview feature and a complete list of member interviews:

  2. getaclue

    getaclue Crossing the Road

    Jun 19, 2013
    Central Florida
    Nice interview. Thank you for sharing!
  3. scottcaddy

    scottcaddy Crowing

    My Dear Cyndi, WOW! You have a very nice place and such birds.
    Thanks for sharing your pic's with us.

    UGLYFOOT Songster

    Apr 5, 2015
    Spirit Lake, Idaho

    Great interview! It has been a pleasure meeting you and hanging out.

  5. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2013
    nice to 'meet' you! you have beautiful birds and home!!!
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    @CyndiD Great interview. Thanks for sharing your life with us, love all the pics.. You have a beautiful place AND Beautiful animals.
  7. CyndiD

    CyndiD Songster

    Feb 28, 2015
    Northern Idaho
    @getaclue , @scottcaddy , @UGLYFOOT , @DwayneNLiz & @Miss Lydia

    Thank you so much for taking time to read my interview... it means alot to me. I guess i need validation, huh? :lau

    I know i can YAP & YAP and i feel like i didnt say enough... "OH, get over yourself, Cyndi" :gig

    Thanks again
    2 people like this.

  8. CyndiD

    CyndiD Songster

    Feb 28, 2015
    Northern Idaho
    P.S. the arial picture was an "oops"... i obviously was on an airplane!, duh.
  9. Great story. Thanks for the insight into your life.

  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Cyndi, great interview. beautiful photography.

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