BYC Member Interview - GitaBooks

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by sumi, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Bethany Fox, known to BYC members as GitaBooks, has been a member of our community since June 2015. Another of our wonderful all rounders she is known for her good advice.

    1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

    I come from a family of 8, including five brothers. We moved out onto a 10 acre farm when we realized we couldn’t easily fit in the suburbs. The property had a huge house and two large barns, as well as a garage and a shed, and we just knew we had to start keeping something there. Along with keeping chickens I also write books (fiction and non-fiction on animal care, behavior and genetics) and have even published a few (hopefully more to come). I also volunteer at the local shelter and help to foster animals there. So far no chickens needed fostering, but you never know what might come in one of these days. We’ve had birds, rabbits, and horses.

    2. Why and when did you start keeping chickens?

    I love animals of all kinds, so naturally when we moved out to a farm a chicken is a perfect first choice. We also got goats and cats, but the chickens were first. It started with a cockerel and pullet named Silver and Penny that we got from a farming friend, and we eventually added to this with some more hens, a couple silkies, and some mix-breed chicks our flock raised. The “Chook Bug” had hit and I couldn’t help but want more. However, when the economy dropped we had to get rid of our original flock and wait a few years before we started up again with some new chicks from the local feed store. We still have three of those original birds today: Dominator my top rooster and his two favourite ladies, Liberty and Maroon.

    A friend added 6 to this and the flock continued to grow as we raised our own babies, got chicks from local sources and hatcheries. Both mix-breed and pure-bred, as I love variety.

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

    I guess seeing happy chickens doing what chickens enjoy doing. I like to see them interact with one another, especially siblings playing or wrestling and a mother guide her babies about how to survive and thrive. If you take the time to watch them, you realize just how individual each one is. The Deanie sisters were a trio I couldn’t tell apart, but all three were trouble-makers that managed to get into trouble. Lee was a tiny survivor who managed to beat the odds and survive nearly freezing to death twice, both times he was inches from death. Each one has a story and personality behind it.

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

    Well, I think almost every chicken I've kept has had a name, but roosters tend to be more memorable just because they have such strong personalities. I remember Fred, our first silkie rooster, because he thought he was so incredibly cool but he really wasn't. He has baggy legs and a squeaky crow, but he was so good to his silkie girl, Ginger. I also remember Mavis quite well, as she was my special-needs baby who had brain damage. She passed before her first birthday, but she was very sweet and enjoyed to go on walks inside of a hat to stay warm. There is also Beauty, who was a Sebright hen who preferred the standard, 9 lb roosters over the bantams. Then there was Sebbie, who would team up with other roosters to trick me (he was a sneaky boy). And of course my top rooster, Dominator, who got his name because of his teenage aggression, but is now one of the gentlest and best roosters I know. He is so good to his ladies and while he doesn’t like to get held, he will tolerate it as long as I don’t do it in front of his girls. Then he gets bashful.

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

    Wow, that would be hard to choose. Chickens do a lot of silly things that make me laugh. I always find it interesting how they can memorize a tiny hole in the fence to escape, but when I try to get them back they can’t find the giant, open gate to get through! The way chicks play and show-off is also funny. When a little rooster that is a week old crows it sure is a humorous thing to witness.

    Mavis, my special-needs girl, stands out to me. She had brain-damage as a chick and so she would walk in circles. Because of this, she tended to search for food in circles. She would find a piece of food and get really excited, spin in a circle and loose it, then find it again and get really excited like she had just found something new and amazing. She was such a sweet little thing.

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

    Currently we have 6 dogs, 6 cats, 2 Corn Snakes, and 1 tarantula named Ronia. We have, however, in the past kept a bearded dragon, mice, gerbils, rabbits, goats, finches, ferrets, leopard geckos, rats, and hamsters. We've also helped to raised injured or orphaned wildlife before releasing them again.

    7. Anything you'd like to add?

    To anyone interested in keeping chickens, the wonderful thing is, its not dependent on age, you really don’t need that much money or space, and they always have something new to offer. They come in so many varieties, and I guess that’s why I can’t find myself stopping. Every day is something new and something different. Whether it be you finding a surprise brood of 10 chicks under one of your hens or your rooster stuck on the roof of the barn (time to get the ladder), you can’t get bored with chickens.

    Mavis, my special-needs silkie girl, resting in a hat:


    Silver and Penny, our first two chickens:


    Princess, my best momma hen I have. She is currently in the basement with a baby that hatched during the cold of winter. She is so good to them:


    Dove sun-bathing:


    Little Lee after he was resuscitated. He was unable to move and barely able to breath because he got too cold out from under his mother. Some warm water and plenty of cuddling (days of being held and hand fed and given water in a spoon) helped him get past this. He was very tame and helped his brother after their mother was taken by a predator by keeping him calm and comforted:


    My 15 hens (and Sasha the rooster) enjoying a the dirt to scratch and bathe in while still indoors:


    Dominator eyeing a pumpkin with Wynona in the background:


    Our two kittens cuddling with young Fred and Ginger, our first silkies. The cats are now around 8 years old:


    Eagle getting a drink after a heavy rain:


    Dominator with his favorite hen, Liberty. You can also spot Fred and Flo, the two silkie roosters:


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

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2013
    Very pretty chickens! What a great mix and lovely interview, nice to 'meet' you!
    What kind of chicken is Dove? i like how her comb is grey
  3. scottcaddy

    scottcaddy Overrun With Chickens

    Good Morning, Bethany [​IMG]
    That was a very nice interview. You are one lucky lady, to have enough land to enjoy your critters and to be able to write sellable stories about them.
    It is nice to meet you, Thanks for the stories here.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Wow, what a cool bird!
  5. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    So nice to get to know more about you, thanks for agreeing to an interview! Loved your pictures and stories.
  6. DwayneNLiz

    DwayneNLiz ...lost... Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2013
    thats what is said! lol
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It's always nice to find more out about the people we hear from on the forum. I love pictures of their chickens, but I would love to see a picture of the person being interviewed. I always have a picture in my mind of those posting, and it is just great to see that person. Good interview.
  8. jchny2000

    jchny2000 Goslings are precious!

    Jun 30, 2012
    Pendleton, Indiana, USA
    Loved this. So awesome to get to know you!
  9. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Lovely interview Bethany :D I have really enjoyed reading more about you and your animals and looking at your fab pics!
    Thanks for sharing with us all :highfive:
  10. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    [​IMG] A family of 8? Wow! I bet you had to schedule bathroom time!

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