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BYC Member Interview - Kassaundra

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by sumi, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Kassaundra has been a member of our community since September 2010. She's will often be found in the Hobbies section, sharing her creations along with her wonderful photo's and is a bit of celebrity on BYC for being human mommy to our favourite little nekkid chicken, Rudy, who's heartwarming story can be read here, http://www.theeasygarden.com/threads/rudy-the-survivor.15278/

    1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

    I am happily married to an amazing man. This October will be our 23rd year married (we dated for about 2 years before getting married). We do not have any children, it has never been an issue for either one of us. My family is from "back east" my mother's side from CT / NY and my fathers side from Maine, but have made my adult life long home in the Sooner state, OK (Boomer Sooner, sorry had to put that in, it is practically a state requirement). I tell people I am a yankee by birth, but a southerner by choice. I went to live w/ my Gparents when I was about 13, before that I had lived in 36 states, been to 48 + Canada and Mexico. My father had quite a wandering foot, he was not military, more like a con artist. lol

    I am a paramedic, have been in emergency medicine for about 13 years now. It is long hours, and many times frustrating as can be, but I love it. There is nothing better then walking into a situation where your actions directly make a difference in someone's life, sometimes even saving it.

    I am an intense homebody. I love gardening, sewing, quilting and crocheting. I have participated w/ several swaps here on BYC and had the best time doing it. I am a huge "Whovian" (someone who loves Doctor Who), going back to the old black and white days. I got hooked on it in the old PBS days. One other intense hobby of mine is photography, as many are already aware. (I post lots of pics! lol) I love nature, macro, flowers, insects etc.... photography, am not as good at landscapes and people, but I keep trying.

    I have a deep seated, abiding, unending hatred of all things winter!!!!! I think I live at the northern most edge of land that is usable for human habitation, north of here "There be ice breathing dragons!" If I had my choice I would build my house right on the equator, but alas, I fell in love w/ a born and bred Okie.


    I am always experimenting on different ways of doing stuff w/ the chickens and garden. I sprout grain for them and ferment grain. I am trying to do aquaponics, and have plans for building a walipini, started a rabbit colony from an old refrigerator. I am always thinking up wild and crazy ideas and some work and others not so much, my family doesn't even roll their eyes much anymore at my ideas! lol


    2. Why and when did you start keeping chickens?

    I started w/ chickens in Sept of 2010, so just 4 short, long years ago. I have learned so much since those first days of chicks. I have always been interested in self sufficiency and read a book by Linda Woodrow about gardening w/ chickens, she had a rotating garden plot / chicken yard idea that I tweeked to work w/ what I had and our climate. I didn't continue w/ that plan, but learned a lot from it. I still dream about becoming mostly food self sufficient on close to 1 acre in town, it is a continuing work in progress, I may never get there, but it's more about the journey then destination, right?

    The BYC community has really helped me to grow as a chicken keeper, to be more well rounded in both the fun aspects as well as the necessary aspects. When I first got chickens it was just going to be for eggs and gardening. I had never killed anything bigger then a mosquito or fly. Learning to be able to end the suffering of a sick or hurt bird is very important and I do not think I would have been able to w/o the support of this community.


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

    Genetics, oh and photography opportunities ([​IMG]). I don't know much about chicken genetics, but it sure is fun mixing it up and seeing what you get. My goal w/ my flock is a flock of "Seussers" which are chickens that would look in place in a Dr. Seuss book. My flock is a working flock, garden hands and food, both meat and eggs, while I don't enjoy the process of getting meat from them, I am glad I learned it and am capable of doing it. I am glad that I can more closely manage my own food source.

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

    Yeta the Wonder Chicken, was an amazing white EE. She wasn't much to look at, just a white chicken w/ muffs, but she had personality plus. She was the first and for the longest time the only one to figure out how to escape, but only would when I was in the garden part of the yard. If I was back there she was with me always. She never wanted to be picked up, but always wanted to be right w/ me doing and supervising whatever project I was doing. I still miss that girl.

    Oreo, the honorary hen. We bought "sexed" pullet chicks. Our first ever chickens had no idea they could send you "mistakes", but low and behold there was Oreo the unmistakable Roo. I had a love / hate relationship w/ him. Like the women married to abusers who keep thinking they will change. He was awesome until just about 2 y/o then he went crazy and started attacking me. After I got to the point I could cull chickens I so wanted to cull him buy Gary was his protector and wouldn't let me. Oreo was awesome to his ladies and a great "dad". I will never again put up w/ a mean to me roo though.

    And of course the best of the best, the incomparable Rudy, the rudester. My naked little boy. The impossible boy (yes a shameless Whovian reference). I am very much a survival of the fittest type person w/ my chickens, I do not treat sickness, do not have chicken meds, my first line chicken sickness / injury tx is culling if they don't get better on their own. That being said I never fought so hard to keep a chick alive as for Rudy. I had a huge chicken massacre in my flock last year and thought I lost the genetics that could make a naked chicken, so when he hatched out naked I couldn't believe it. I had incubator issues w/ his hatch and he had shrink wrapped, and I had to force his hatch just a tad to early since he was shrink wrapped. So at hatch he was very weak, had a huge abdominal hernia, and messed up feet and legs. I left him in the incubator for the first 8ish hours thinking he would die, but he fought, so I did too. He was hand fed, had a large bandage on his hernia, tape "shoes" for his feet, leg hobbles, and was placed in a cup w/ cotton balls and tape to help keep him upright and built muscle strength. Long story, not so long, after about 1-2 weeks of intense work he survived against all odds and hasn't looked back since. By the way Rudy crowed for the first time today, our little boy is growing up. [​IMG]

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

    For pets we have 3 dogs now Tucker my doxie, and no friend to chickens, Sasha a rescue mix, Little Bug and lab / rot mix, the Grande dam of the crew. Two cats Pebbles and Nabu all our pets are rescue.

    We also had a male guinea wander up and started living w/ the flock

    And just started raising meat rabbits.

    Planning on getting a start of muskovy ducks for meat and eggs.

    6. Anything you'd like to add?

    Keeping chickens is a lot of fun, and work, and challenging at times. Use the BYC community to help w/ the hard parts, learning easier ways of doing things, or just having "someone to talk to" that understands when you have to do the hard parts. Remember when dealing w/ the chicken noobs, you used to be one too. Always enjoy the journey and the destination will take care of itself.

    Some pics:

    [​IMG]
    Me on my wedding day, I sewed and designed my dress.


    [​IMG]
    My Gma just months before she died.


    [​IMG]
    Gary keeping Tucker warm.


    [​IMG]
    Gary digging at the salt flats in Oklahoma


    [​IMG]
    Rudy as a youngster

    [​IMG]
    More recent pic of Rudy


    [​IMG]
    Nabu, and Tucker who loves cats


    [​IMG]
    Former kitten Bam Bam and her buddy Tucker


    [​IMG]
    Sasha


    [​IMG]
    Little Bug


    [​IMG]
    Oreo

    [​IMG]
    My favorite picture of my Gma


    [​IMG]
    My Gma and me when I was about 10


    [​IMG]
    Oreo feeding his ladies cherries


    [​IMG]
    Yeta, the wonder chicken, supervising my coop building skills.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/u/66877/kassaundra

    See here for more about the interview feature and a complete list of member interviews:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/905602/introducing-vip-member-interviews/0_30
     
    5 people like this.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Great to read more insight about a woman I already knew was pretty darn cool.

    The naked chicken is just....fascinating...is there a thread about it?
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    She has a long running thread on Rudy and his story on one of our sister sites:

    http://www.theeasygarden.com/threads/rudy-the-survivor.15278/

    It's a good read with loads of wonderful pics of the cutie.
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    What a lovely interview! Rudy sure is a survivor! Wow. Amazing. You were given a gift when this bird hatched and so was Rudy. You. How touching. [​IMG]

    Love your other pics as well. Very nice! Thanks for sharing your life with us here! [​IMG]
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Wonderful interview, thank you for sharing your life with us!
     
  6. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

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    The link sumi posted is the easiest place to get all the Rudy the rudester's info. I usually post some of the info on a couple of threads, like the naked neck thread, but his info would be buried in pages and pages of other posts.
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Kass, I didn't know you had a NAKED chicken! Thanks for the interview!
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Thank you so much for sharing your life with us, Kassaundra! Great interview!
     

  9. I am fascinated by this lil guy.
     
  10. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Many thanks - I very much enjoyed this one! [​IMG]
     

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