BYC Member Interview - oldhenlikesdogs

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by sumi, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Lisa, known to BYC members as oldhenlikesdogs, has been a member of our community since July 2015. Another of our wonderful all rounders, she is known for her friendliness and good advice.

    1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

    My name is Lisa. I was born in Chicago, raised in Wisconsin by a pair of city folk wanting to be farmers. I grew up around animals and spent most of my time in their company. We mostly were a dairy farm, but dabbled in pigs and an occasional flock of chickens. I also spent many years on the back of a horse or pony anytime I could.

    I married my husband at the age of 20, we than bought his parents dairy farm and ran that for 10 years before deciding it was too much work for too little pay. I became a dog groomer after that, which was my childhood dream, and ran my own shop for 5 years, than groomed out of my home for another 12 years. I decided after that to retire. It's not really official, but that's what I'm calling it. We never were able to have kids, but we do okay with dogs. My husband has a job with the railroad.

    We bought our 40 acre farm in 1997 and have proceeded to remodel, fix and clean it up. It was quite a mess and needed care and love. I enjoy it too much maybe as it can be hard to get me to leave. I claimed the 40x40 pole building as my own. I am lucky that my husband will build anything I ask of him and helps out in any way I might need it. I choose well.

    I have had multiple health problems throughout the years, juvenile diabetes since age 10, arthritis beginning in my late 20's, with both shoulders replaced in my 30's. In 2013 I was diagnosed with uterine cancer, in 2014 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, two different surgeries followed up with chemotherapy which has left me a bit messed up with nerve damage and weakened muscles. Two years later I'm still kicking.

    Mentally it caused me to realize how precious my time is and that I shouldn't waste time or energy on petty matters, or things I don't enjoy. I thought about the concept of a bucket list and came up with two whole things. One was to learn to eat with chopsticks, which I have mastered, the second was to finally join BYC, and quit being a lurker. I've been hanging out since 2008 and now I am an official member.

    My hobbies are poultry, dogs, goats, gardening, fish keeping, and occasional artistic pursuits like painting, drawing and carving, I also enjoy playing PlayStation.


    My house and some of my large yard.


    A view from my house. The gray shed on the left is where i keep my goats, donkeys and large breed chicken flock. My bantam pen is inside the barn on the right, on the left back side.


    Everyone mingles in the middle.


    Turkey shed and run.


    Shed where I brood my chicks and poults as well as for my gardening stuff.

    2. Why and when did you start keeping chickens?

    My first adventure into chicken keeping was about 26 years ago. I though it would be fun. I happily ordered 25 birds from Murray McMurrary. About half were roosters because they were pretty. My coop was smaller, 10x12, my run wasn't much bigger. They proceeded to grow up and start fighting, pecking each other, I believe a few didn't make it and I was attacked a lot so I had to collect eggs with a stick in my hand. That was a total mess, so I proceeded to get 25 more bantam. Those weren't as brutal but it was still a mess. I sold most of them for meat.

    In 1997 when we bought our current place I proceeded to get 8 swap meet chickens, some died so I bought more. That flock was half rooster, silkies and a polish rooster, who got his crest pecked one winter when I locked them up in their 8x10 pen for a few weeks. That was the last time I locked my chickens up.

    In 2008 I ordered chick from My Pet Chicken, 8 of them, 4 buff Orpington hens, 2 buff Orpington roosters, and 2 silver laced Wyandotte. I also bought more swap meet birds, 10 of them, 7 which were roosters. I apparently looked good to unload them on. I decided I wanted to keep chickens right and proceeded to educate myself. I found BYC, which had lots of good information. From there my chicken addiction took off. I have learn a lot since and continue to seek out new knowledge and new ideas.

    My flock has grown a bit more over the years, I keep a large breed flock and a bantam flock which free ranges in the same area but live in separate buildings. I keep between 40-60 chickens, though this year I might have a few more than that.

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

    The best part of chicken keeping to me is grabbing a good cup of coffee on cool fall day, and sitting down on one of my benches to watch them be chickens. They calm me, they entertain me, and I'm always see interesting behaviors. One of my favorite pastimes is to observe animal behaviors in order to figure out their purpose and reasons behind everything they do.

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

    My most memorable chicken ever was a rose comb Rhode island red rooster. He taught me how nice a rooster could be and how hens could adore their rooster. They would sit around him in the sun gently pecking around his face. He took in my batch of buff Orpingtons and Wyandotte and protected them from the rest of the hens. I named him Cacklepants because he would run cackling every time I would see him during his first year. Little did I know at the time that he was showing me respect.



    My favorite hen was his sister Lucy. As a chick, one my dogs stomped her and injured her leg. She was the only chicken I ever did physical therapy on and I made her a sling to hang in. She eventually healed and was a good curious hen who was my first broody. She showed me how chicks could easily be integrated into a flock and I have since always add my chicks at 6-8 weeks without too much troubles.

    Both taught me a lot about chicken behaviors.

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

    My funniest chicken moments would have to be the summer of the bantams. I had gotten a batch of bantam, d'uccle and cochins. At about 6 weeks old they began hanging out in a flower bed, goofing and lounging. They discovered one day the wonders of helping me week, snatching worms as I turned the earth. They quickly learned to come running after me whenever I grabbed my weeding bucket. It wasn't easy to weed with little heads in the way, but it brought me a lot of joy. Eventually they were fenced from free access to the yard for their own protection, but it's still great memories.




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

    I have lots of critters besides my chickens. I keep turkeys, currently have 15, muscovy ducks, goats, currently have 12 wethers, 3 donkeys, 5 dogs, 3 parakeets, an Amazon parrot who swears like a pirate, not sure where she learned that? Goldfish, some big enough to eat, and some I've had for 13 years now, and an outdoor cat that I don't often see, but keep feeding.








    7. Anything you'd like to add?

    I think I've said too much already, so I shouldn't add too much more. I believe in being kind and respectful to all and hopefully my answers reflect that. Occasionally my hands hurt and I start typing like Tarzan so forgive me for that. I haven't been here long as a member but I feel like I might belong here. So thanks to all who have been kind and welcoming and for those who put up with me, thank you too.

    See here for more about the interview feature and a complete list of member interviews:
    4 people like this.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Great writing and pics!!
    1 person likes this.
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    What a fabulous interview -- thank you so much for sharing a bit more about yourself and your life with us, Lisa! I love the photos, looks like a fantastic bunch you get to spend your days with!!
    1 person likes this.
  4. limited25

    limited25 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2016
    What a wonderful interview with great pictures! Have admired your gardens on other posts and always appreciated reading your advice. Your animals are so healthy looking and your whole farm looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing!
    1 person likes this.
  5. N F C

    N F C More coffee please! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    Your interview was wonderful to read. I've enjoyed your posts on several threads, you always bring common sense and good advice to the table. Beautiful pictures, what a lovely place you have. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us!
    1 person likes this.
  6. Leahs Mom

    Leahs Mom Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 9, 2012
    Northern Indiana
    Absolutely wonderful article and photos! Thanks so much! Love your property :)
    1 person likes this.
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Very nice, thank you for sharing! Your animals are beautiful.
    1 person likes this.
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I finally pulled myself out of bed this morning, so sorry I'm late, I have a summer cold, thank you all for being so nice back, and putting up with me, I've never enjoyed myself more than I do on this site. You are all so kind and fun, thank you for letting me participate. And thank you all, I love our place and enjoy my critters.
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Thanks for sharing your story. I enjoy your common sense replies.
    1 person likes this.
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    What a wonderful Interview! I am sorry you have had to go through so many health issues in your life. [​IMG] You are a strong person to not let it stop you from living. You all have done wonders with your farm and all your livestock!! Lovely photos!!

    Thanks for sharing!! [​IMG]

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