BYC Member Interview - fldiver97


Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
Michaela, known to BYC members are fldiver97, has been a member of our community since August, 2009. Another of our wonderful all rounders, she is known for her friendliness and good advice.

1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

My name is Michaela. English is not my first language so .... any mistakes will be blamed on that :lol: ! I grew up in Germany, moved to Florida for a change of scenery and a job. The plan was to stay for 1.5 - 2 years. Well, 30 years later I am still in the US, but now in Wisconsin.... Guess I’m no good with numbers or geography. My username is from my love for scuba diving and living in Florida for many years.
I’ve done some medical volunteer work (for humans) outside the US
I’ve also done other volunteer work with critters. Seabird rescue after an oil spill, volunteer at the Florida aquarium taking care of birds, bunnies, turtles and a couple of otters. Biggest critter I’ve volunteered with was a beached whale at Mote Marine in Sarasota. Dirty work but rewarding! I garden a little, any plants that survive are labeled ‘extra hardy’... I cook a little but don’t follow recipes well. Gave up downhill skiing as my knees aren’t perfect anymore, no scuba diving for a while now, like walking, light hiking, love to read, knit a little, like some crafts but overall more of a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’.

2. Why and when did you start keeping chickens?

Got 5 chickens spring of 2009.... total chicken newbie. I had gotten eggs from someone with a flock of a couple or 3 dozen spoiled chickens for a few years, loved the fact that I knew where they came from. Then I decided that I would like to have my own little flock for bug control, compost and eggs but primarily pets.

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

Chickens have such unique personalities, provide entertainment and also have a way to bring me back to basics, relax and feel like I can get away from the demands and hustle of life for a bit.

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

Thelma, my lead hen and one of my original chickens. She is beautiful, calm and a gentle leader. Not bad for an older gal (10 1/2 years old)
Harriet, my Speckled Sussex.... she’s more like the class clown.... pretty, opinionated and funny!

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

Funny? For others, yes.... Shortly after I got my current coop and run, walk in with a people door for coop front and side of run, connected by a pop door for the girls the unspeakable happened: both doors have latches that drop down to close. Both locks were rigged up with a wire that can be pulled from the inside in case the door shuts. Well, I went out to give the girls some treats and do a headcount before closing them in the pen/coop for the evening. The pop door stays open until dark but can be closed/opened from outside. So I’m standing in the run, the girls are eagerly devouring the treats and I hear a ‘click’! The run door was shut. Okay, no problem..... I pull on the wire, it catches a little. I pull harder.... snap - the darn wire breaks. I didn’t have my phone, love not having too many neighbors and no one is around! So I look around, no tools. The run is pretty sturdy, have to keep the predators out ... but now I am trapped. So I look at the only opening - the chicken door. Can I fit through? That would allow me to get to the coop (people) door and out the front. Hah! So I crawl through, half of the flock staring me in the face entering the coop and the other half of the flock staring at my derrière exiting the run..... I think they were laughing-I heard a lot of cackling. So with shavings all over my clothes and hair, my dignity bruised I stand up and reach for the (sturdier) wire to open the front door!!!! Poops .... no wire! I forgot that I removed it the day before, planned to replace it with string and didn’t get around to it. So, back out in the run, more cackling. I thought I would have to kick the run door out (ouch!!) but then I noticed a piece of wire that I used to secure a feeder. Took a while but I eventually McGuyvered a hook and got the latch open. Thankfully no human witnesses.... Needless to say I fixed the latches IMMEDIATELY

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

Love animals, currently owned by 2 mix dogs, 5 cats and 8 chickens...
I’ve had greyhounds (used to volunteer for a rescue and fostered many greys), a malamute, several other cats over the years. I’ve also had pet rats, a Madagascar day gecko and several Komoris day geckos (first eggs and unplanned hatches).

7. Anything you'd like to add?

I enjoy BYC ! Great resource and fun, lots of interesting folks!


1: Chicken Nugget..... small and fast and bottom of the pecking order
2: Coop with Violet, Thelma and Nugget
3: Scarlet, striking a pose
4: Dexter and Yoda, both rescues
5: Thelma and Lucy in the background
6: Violet and Harriet.... stay away from my coffee, girls!!
7: Luke, rescue .... smelling some native plant - no roses here
8: Beau, rescue from Georgia.... southern boy enjoying snow


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Thanks for doing an interview Michaela, fun to learn more about you after seeing you on the New Member threads for so long! Loved the "locked in" story...know you aren't alone in that (it's happened to me too) :lol:

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