BYC Member Interview - Gritsar


Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
Kat, known to BYC members as gritsar, is another member that needs no introduction. One of BYC's "old timers", she's been active in the community since October 2007, giving wonderful advice, sharing experiences and sometimes just being a friend.

1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

Just my husband and myself living on a farm with our critters that we consider to be our feathered and furry children. We have (oh don't make me count them) a certain number of chickens, 10 call ducks, two german shepherds that "grew up" on BYC and two cats. When I am not busy tending to the needs of my children I like to read and I'm addicted to certain Facebook games. I recently rehomed my flock of geese and larger ducks due to health issues, keeping just the calls that I find much easier to care for.

2. Why and when did you start keeping chickens?

When my husband and I first married and I saw all the acreage on this farm I began my quest to fill it with something other than cows - we lease our pastures to a neighbor for his cattle to graze. I started out asking for a horse, was told no and worked my way down from there. Nowadays I couldn't imagine this farm without poultry. I got my first chickens, brahmas, in the early spring of 2008. They are the old gals now and spoiled rotten.

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

Chicken TV, of course! My birds free ranged for four years but when I started losing them to predators I did the wise thing and created pens. Now I have every evening of Chicken TV to look forward to...the time each day we set aside to sit outside in the fresh air and supervise free ranging.

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

There have been so many! My crossbeak silkie X Dragon would have to be first on that list. Hatched with a severe crossbeak and deformed skull Dragon had attitude and a will to live unmatched by any other bird. While well-meaning folks encouraged me to cull her the first week of her life, I decided to give Dragon a chance. She lived for three and a half years and never once did she seem to be anything but a happy-go-lucky chicken.

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

Again, there have been so many! Learning all about the warm running down your leg feeling you get when you forget you have a pocket full of eggs would be the most common one. The most recent one would be the day my brahma hen hatched out six chicks of a new-to-me breed, Bredas. I absolutely freaked out when I picked a chick up to examine it and saw only a black streak when the comb should be; I was sure that my first time broody had gone nuts and pecked the combs off of all her chicks. Only later, after I made hurried plans to take the chicks away from her, did I recall that Breda are a comb-less breed.

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

Two german shepherd dogs - Jax and Kane, two rescue cats - KiKi and Kitty and the call ducks. The cows are just a daily challenge for me.

7. Anything you'd like to add?

Don't sweat the small stuff. Chickens survive a whole lot of things you would think they couldn't. Educate yourself on good animal husbandry, practice it faithfully and provide them with quality food and clean water (that they will ignore in favor of a mud puddle). Give them safe housing and let them be chickens.

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


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia
Thank you! We don't often cross paths on the forum, but I've been aware of your humor and good sense for a long time!


BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Dec 12, 2013
Kat, thanks for sharing yourself with us! Enjoyed your story about Dragon, sounds like quite a bird. And that Winnie the Pooh quote has always been one of my favorites.

Enjoy your day


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Sep 25, 2007
Hiya, Kat! SO good to see this interview from such a wonderful, longtime member - we've shared a whole lot of ups & downs over the years...thanks for agreeing to the interview!


BYC Staff
15 Years
Dec 26, 2006
California - SF East Bay
My Coop
My Coop

I'm so glad we have this fantastic interview of Kat / gritsar! She's been an invaluable member of our community for ages & it's great to read more about her!

Kat, what type of books / reading do you enjoy the most?
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Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
Northern CA
My Coop
My Coop
Oh Kat, I have missed you! I'm so glad to see this interview. I'm glad you are doing well, though I'm sorry to hear of your health issues.

The pocket scramble.
I too had to learn that one the hard way. I even showed up at the gym once with an egg in my pocket. (thankfully, it didn't break) And so true on them favoring the mud puddle over fresh, clean water.


Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
14 Years
Nov 9, 2007
SW Arkansas

I'm so glad we have this fantastic interview of Kat / gritsar! She's been an invaluable member of our community for ages & it's great to read more about her!

Kat, what type of books / reading do you enjoy the most?

If a new movie comes out I find that I prefer reading the book first. I loved the book Water For Elephants (much better than the movie). Right now I am working my way through If I Stay and already have the sequel, Where She Went, loaded on the Kindle.

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