BYC Member Interview - Nifty-Chicken

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by sumi, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I have a very special interviewee for you all this week. Rob Ludlow, known to our members as Nifty-Chicken, is the owner of this wonderful website. (Read more about the history of BYC here: Rob will most often be found behind the scenes, working on keeping this great big ship sailing smoothly, in the BYC Website & Forum Feedback & Announcements section helping members with queries and questions and occasionally having a spot of fun on the forum, like here... We couldn't bring our new friend back with us from vacation! :( Thanks for that, Rob! [​IMG]

    1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

    I live in the San Francisco East Bay Area with my wife and two daughters that are 11 and 8. Both my wife and I were born and raised in the area and we’re lucky to have a lot of family that still live in the area. I’m the youngest of 6 kids (1 girl, 5 boys) and live in the house I grew up in while my mom lives in an in-law addition we built 8 years ago… which makes babysitting REALLY convenient! :) I’ve always been entrepreneurial (friends and neighbors tell stories of how I used to try to sell dirt, drawings, trees, and do all manner of yard businesses, etc. when I was young). Currently I’m an online business consultant and specialize in social media and online communities. I help businesses develop and market their online products and services. I also own and maintain a portfolio of websites that include You can read more about that here:

    2. Why and when did you start keeping chickens?

    In 2004 a friend at church had a clutch of eggs hatch, and offered us 5 chicks. Even though 4 of them ended up being roosters (which we needed to “re-home” because of local ordinances), we fell in love with backyard chickens and have been hooked ever since!


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

    Originally it was the uniqueness of having chickens as pets that piqued our interest. After that, we got hooked on the fact that we had a “pet that makes breakfast”! There have also been a lot of surprise benefits, for example: Our children learning more about self-sufficiency, knowing where their food comes from, etc. We’ve also been very surprised how much our family has become attached to them as pets.

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

    We’ve had a few different hens through our flock over the years, and of course there are some favorites that have stood out for various reasons. When we first got chickens we thought we would rotate through them as they got older, but we quickly realized that we kept finding reasons to keep each one, for example: “Blackie was our first chicken, so we have to keep her!” or “Goldie is the most beautiful chicken, so we have to keep her!” Right now, it’s pretty easy to say that Ginger, our olive-egger, is the family favorite. She’s beautiful and super friendly… our girls just adore her!

    Our girls with Ginger

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

    One of our favorite things about our chickens is when they would come to our back sliding-glass door to hang out and wait for attention or treats. A few of our girls were so anxious that they would start pecking on the glass to get our attention… it was pretty cute!

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

    Over the years, we’ve had ducks (super fun to watch, but so terribly messy), lizards, snakes, etc. Our daughters would love to have dogs, cats, horses, etc., but we’re not sure we’re ready for the extra commitment right now with how busy things already are.

    7. Anything you'd like to add?

    It’s been an amazing 10 years! When we got our first chicks those many years ago, I would have never imagined that I’d end up running the largest resource and most awesome community of chicken enthusiasts in the world and that I’d also become the co-author of 4 “For Dummies” books about chickens! I’m amazingly humbled and grateful for the amazing opportunities I’ve had and friends I’ve made through BYC!


    First chickens in our compost bin

    Letherby's ice cream... YUM!!

    Making plum jam with the family

    I've always loved animals! Here I am with my absolute BEST FRIEND in the world growing up. Gamay (the half yellow lab / golden retriever):

    See here for more about the interview feature and a complete list of member interviews:
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2014
  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    May 11, 2010
  3. N F C

    N F C snowing & blowing

    Dec 12, 2013
    Great interview Rob! So nice to meet the man behind the scenes. You have a beautiful family and have been a terrific leader for this community. Thank you for all your hard work!
    1 person likes this.
  4. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Nice to learn a bit more about the elusive @Nifty-Chicken [​IMG] Thank you, @sumi , for doing the interview, and thank you Rob for volunteering. It's nice to see the whole family making food together in the last picture too.
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Nice interview Rob. Holy cow, did you eat ALL that ice cream in the fourth pic? LOLOL.
    1 person likes this.
  6. MarcoPollo

    MarcoPollo Songster

    Nov 24, 2012
    Hot Coffee, MS
    Thank you for this website! It's one of my top 3 favorite internet sites to visit and I really enjoy reading through all the info here and talking with crazy chicken people [​IMG]
    Thanks for the pics and interview. I had to laugh at the thought of a young kid trying "to sell dirt, drawings, trees". For all your hard work may you continue to have much success in all you do [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014
  7. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Thanks, Rob! [​IMG]
  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Wouldn't you? [​IMG]

    Rob, thanks for all of your work you do "behind the scenes" to keep this forum running.
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Well, well, well, the Big Kahuna speaks! Good to see your beautiful family again (and you, too [​IMG] ).

    Wait, you tried to sell dirt??? [​IMG] Well, we could use a few yards of topsoil, if you deliver. [​IMG] Give my best to Emily!
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2014
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Wow, what a wonderful interview! I always thought there was more to you than BYC! You have gone quite far in life, something to be quite proud of. You have a lovely family and flock!

    Thank you so much for sharing your life with us here on BYC! [​IMG]
    blackdust951 likes this.

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