BYC Member Interview - NorthFLChick

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by sumi, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Debby, known to BYC members as NorthFLChick, has been a member of our community since December 2013. Another of our wonderful all-rounders, she is known for her good advice, friendliness, enthusiasm and helpfulness.

    1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

    I was born and raised in the Midwest. My parents loved to travel so growing up, my brother, sister and I saw a lot of the US and Canada as kids. But it wasn’t until March 2002 that I saw FL for the first time and fell in love with the ocean, palm trees and flowers. Everything was so colorful and alive with warm breezes and birds…a real contrast to March in the Midwest.
    In 2010 I moved to Key West, FL and one of the first people I met ended up being the wonderful guy I married, Brian.


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    We had a small retail store in Key West for 3 years and while business was ok, it wasn’t enough to justify the extreme high cost of living and the 90-100 hour work weeks we were each putting in. We began to think about what we really wanted to do instead of the store and that was have a home with a bit of property where we could have some animals and a big garden. Since none of that was possible in Key West (at least not on our budget), we ended up here in North FL, out in the country. Quite a change from the warm island we came from…there are Live Oak trees here instead of coconut palms, tourists don’t stop to party, and it actually gets cold here (at least to me) in the winter.


    2. Why and when did you start keeping chickens?

    Those that have been to Key West know gypsy chickens run freely on the island. Early settlers and Cuban refugees brought chickens to the Keys as a source of food and for fighting. Once food was more readily available and fighting was banned, a lot of chickens were turned loose and they have flourished since. Watching the chickens day after day, seeing them with their chicks, hearing the roosters crow, all that helped me get over a fear I’d had of chickens growing up. These were some fascinating animals, what a discovery!
    Once my husband and I got our little place out in the country, I had to have some chickens of my own. Of course, not knowing any better, I did everything wrong. I got my first batch of chicks in 2013 from a horrible environment because I felt sorry for them; 4 out of 7 chicks promptly died within two weeks. A chance encounter with an older man at the hardware store led me to BYC and that’s when I started figuring out what I was doing (and I’m still working on that!).
    By April 2014 I felt ready to tackle chicks again, this time going through a reputable hatchery that immunized their birds. We currently have 12 lovely egg laying girls in our mixed flock. Eventually I’d like to experience incubating eggs and adding some geese.


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

    Of course the eggs are wonderful and that first egg is one of my favorite chicken-related memories but I have to say, for me, the thing I enjoy most about keeping chickens is how much company they are. Living out in the country, I don’t have many neighbors so having some chattery, entertaining feathered girls is good company. They make a nice day better and a not-so-nice day pretty good. They continue to surprise me with their quirky personalities and behavior; it seems there is always something more to learn about them so I find chickens very interesting.


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

    One of our very first girls, a Rhode Island Red named Taylor, is our “special needs” chicken. When she was around 4 months old, she turned up lame one morning. Taylor spent 3 months on our enclosed front porch sitting next to my chair being nursed back to health. She got stronger every day and even laid her first egg on that porch. Her lameness prevents her from roosting and every attempt to integrate her back into the flock ended up badly for her so she has her own mini-coop next to the big coop and her own private run next to the other girls (with plenty of anti-peck protection). She has become especially attached to my husband and they have long winded chats about the weather, politics and the state of the economy.
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    A Red Sex Link and a Speckled Sussex are my special girls. Scottie (RSL) was a real ankle pecker, until she figured out every time she pecked me I was going to pick her up. Now she only pecks when she wants to have some special attention and a cuddle.

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    Peanut (SS) has always been the runt of the bunch and has been harassed more than anyone else so she has learned to be very aware of the other girls and keeps her distance from them. Nothing has ever changed her sweet nature and even with being my first bumblefoot patient, she’s one of the friendliest chickens we have.
    [​IMG]


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

    The first time I saw one of our chicks sitting on the brooder wall, I was so shocked, I jumped on BYC and announced it to the cyber-world only to find out, yes, this happens and no, it is not unusual. Then there was the first time I saw one of our girls taking a dust bath, I thought she was having a convulsion until she stood up, shook the dirt off and went about her business. I guess it’s not so much that my chickens do funny things, it’s my surprise about the normal things they do. Hey, I grew up a city kid!
    One of my husband’s funniest memories came from him “accidently” locking me in the coop while I was painting in a corner. He also thought it was pretty funny when he “accidently” locked me in the run. He’s a smart guy but he sure is “accident” prone! Both the coop and the run were quickly fitted with ways of being opened from the inside, just in case there's another “accident”.


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

    In addition to the chickens, we currently have 4 goats and a constantly changing number of meat rabbits. We got the goats to help clear out the brush in the back part of our property and they’ve done a great job with that. So far, we’ve had 5 kids born here and the newborns are a lot of fun. We talk about getting a dog or cat someday but for now, the animals we have keep us pretty busy. Between the animals and a huge garden, our days are full.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    7. Anything you'd like to add?

    This website is an amazing resource because people have been willing to share. You never know whose day you’ll make better just by giving a quick response to a question or by sharing a funny picture or sympathizing with someone that just lost a beloved pet. Someone could write a book on what I don’t know yet about poultry but I do know what it’s like to be new and that’s why I like to greet new members. I'm also a home baker and have met a super group of members that share that interest (and great recipes!).
    BYC has become a wonderful part of my every-day life. This is where I learn new things, meet people and have fun with friends. There truly is something for everyone here, no matter what you’re interested in. I’ve had the great fortune to make friends here with some of the nicest and most generous people I’ve ever met. Thank you BYC!

    I'd also like to give a special shout out to my friends on the Quotes and thoughts for the day thread, it's been a fantastic place to get support and food for thought on a daily basis.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/u/250714/northflchick

    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
     
    3 people like this.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  3. WVduckchick

    WVduckchick For The Birds! Premium Member

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    Very nice interview Debby! You are such a pleasure to have around!
     
  4. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    A wonderful interview Debby!! I've loved reading how you got started with your chicken adventures and how they have shown their personalities. They all sound wonderful. And what about those gorgeous kids and rabbits, lovely pics :love As you know I have a soft spot for goats ;)

    90 - 100 hours a week :eek: No wonder you needed a change and it's certainly been for the better.

    Thanks for sharing :highfive:
     
  5. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member Project Manager

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    Great interview!

    I at the last English Muffin while reading it. [​IMG]
     
  6. N F C

    N F C More coffee please! Premium Member Project Manager

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    Too funny, I forgot to subscribe to my own interview and didn't realize there had been any responses. [​IMG]

    @aart thank you, I've always enjoyed reading your posts. I admire your straight forward style.

    @WVduckchick it's been a pleasure getting to know you from the BYC Café thread!

    @Yorkshire coop you've been a good friend, thank you for the support. You're a peach!

    @ronott1 you just keep rubbing it in on the English muffins, lol! I still love your yeast pancake recipe the best [​IMG]

    And if anyone reading this likes to bake, come on over and join Ron and a lot of other wonderful bakers here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/921333/any-home-bakers-here/2260
     
  7. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    that was nice!
    I think you are one of only a few BYCers that I have met in person. You are a 'real' really good egg. And the accident prone husband is too.
     
  8. N F C

    N F C More coffee please! Premium Member Project Manager

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    Aw, shucks, thanks eggsy! We had fun with your family at the Gardens that day. It was really nice getting to meet you all. I'll tell Brian you said 'hi'!
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ooooo... English muffins...mmmm!
    As good as Thomas'??
     
  10. N F C

    N F C More coffee please! Premium Member Project Manager

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    I don't know...Ron didn't send me one [​IMG] But they looked excellent!

    @ronott1 is a very talented baker and has a lot of expertise on the subject we all benefit from.
     

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