BYC Member Interview - perchie.girl

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by sumi, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Deb, known to BYC members as perchie.girl, has been a member of our community since November 2010. Another of our wonderful all-rounders, she is known for her friendliness and good advice.

    1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

    I have had horses now almost fifty years, dogs sixty years. My last dog Rosie passed about four years ago. I miss her terribly. Mom used to raise poodles. My dad was the son of a sharecropper. So I grew up with stories about the life growing crops and food for themselves along with managing sections of land for corn, wheat, cotton, and finally oranges. They worked their way across the lower US from Florida to California.

    Hobbies? I do lots of things, draw, design, tinker, sculpt and write. I don’t ride horses any more but I do drive a carriage when I can get physical help. Now with the tool of the internet when I think about getting involved with a new animal, my first task is to do research. Copious amounts of research.

    As a retired Manufacturing Engineer research is second nature for me. I love trouble shooting and the process of design. I am also a master dumpster diver.

    In 2003 I bought my dream home. 18+ acres of High desert.




    The man who built it was an artist.

    2. Why and when did you start keeping chickens?

    It was pre internet, or at least before I had access to it. I first got chickens when my son was four, so 22 years ago. Americanas the feed store told me, and that they would lay colored eggs. They sent me home with a five pound bag of Baby food. They told me to keep them out of drafts and to put a heat lamp on them.

    So I made a cage out of chicken wire and an old low 24 x 24 work table turned upside down and I put a plywood lid on it. It went on top of a card table on the back porch, with a table cloth for drafts. I bought four chicks thinking I would lose one or two before I was done. They grew amazingly fast hale and hearty and I was stunned at how pretty they were no two marked or colored alike. NO casualties.

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

    Entertainment is my first love, eggs second, and yes I eventually will be able to process. Though chickens will always be a part of my poultry, guinea fowl will be my next concentrated effort. My horse will stand hours on end with her nose to the guinea fowl partition watching and dosing.

    I am approaching retirement. My goals for poultry are to have them be somewhat self sustaining and provide me with eggs and meat. Living on Social Security will be an exercise on frugality and common sense.

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

    Three Roos …. Waylin, Willie and Bubba. During my first three years living up on the mountain I lost two flocks to coyotes. So I figured I would get some chickens that were raised up here. Found an add in the Penny Saver for chickens five bucks a piece. Address was local, so I went figuring on getting four or five hens and a roo.

    When I got there the place was a typical desert home stead. Tumble down shacks and sheds and modular home. In the back was what was left of an egg farm. Just old wire cages and what served as a barn. There were chickens EVERYWHERE. He was run amok with chickens. The result of having an incubator and too much time on his hands.

    He came out equipped with a big net, I pointed and he scooped. I wound up with about eight barnyard mixes that later proved to be EEs. He then told me the roos were free. So he caught two roos that looked to have some jungle fowl in them. Very pretty, and very quick.

    While he was chasing down the roos he ran past this one big hen who just blink at him and stepped aside occasionally. After catching the roos he asked If I wanted that roo too, pointing to the hen. What did I know there were no tail feathers. That’s how Bubba joined the trio.

    Well Waylin was a handsome dude and boy could he belt out a crow. Willie’s Crow wasn’t so loud and he had a funny way of twisting his head to the side. I never heard a peep out of Bubba. He always stayed out of reach of the other roos.

    My new flock flourished I didn’t so much. I had bad asthma that year. And one day I was flat out nebulizer by the bed and it was 100 degrees out. The only entertainment was an open sliding glass door.

    So I lay there dozing and watching chicken TV. I heard Waylin Doo Dle Doooo in his masterful way. Soon to be followed by Willies Doodle low dooo. Then All the sudden I heard a blood curdling scream…. And here comes Willie beating feet with Walylin right behind with a beak full of Willie feathers. This sent me into apoplexy of laughter and coughing.

    As soon as things settled down I heard one of the California quail sound off with their bell like song. But it didn’t really sound like a quail it was lovely though. I had to get up and peek out. Just in time to see Bubba flap his wings and sing the loveliest crow I have ever heard. It ws like seeing Jim Nabors expecting a “Golleee” and getting opera…

    I have always had a soft spot for roos.

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

    My last flock of chickens was all Welsummers. I ordered twenty girls and five boys from the feed store. Oh, what lovely chickens, I will have them again. I lost two boys and one girl so was down to three roos. Again everyone was mellow and bowed to the Alpha roo. He was a handsome stately fellow with nice big shanks and sturdy feet. As were all the girls.

    Then I adopted two Silky roos. Chick mates, what a duo. The black one was Truffle and the grey and black one was Sparkle. They resided in a partition next to the Wellsummers. I had NO idea how much big personality Silkies had. Truffle was always charging the fence trying to get at 'em. He knew he could beat up one of those Wellie roos.

    I was going between partitions taking food and water to the guineas in the last partition. The Wellies were having fun in the yard. I figured the Silkies wouldn’t go past the water bucket blocking the door.

    Um NO. Truffle leaped the bucket only getting one foot wet in the process and proceeded to attack the biggest Wellie Roo who was drinking. The roo felt the attack and turned puzzled what had kicked him in the shins. Then the hackles came out. He didn’t want to fight but he sure was going to finish it.

    They were fully at it when I was able to step in. The only one I could get a hold of was Truffle. I grabbed him up while he was yanking out hackle feathers on the Wellie. The Wellie just shook out his feathers and went off to tend his girls. Truffle on the other hand was still fighting me to “Git-At-Em”. I then tucked both of Truffles feet in between my fingers and let him dangle for a moment or two. As soon as he hung his wings as if “I give UP” I took him back to his side of the gate and layed him down in the rice hulls.

    He layed there a moment then raised his head up as if to say “Am I Alive?” Yup he jumped up shook off the dust and proceeded to patrol the fence again. What A Gufus… I later found out that with a mighty amount of flapping and climbing he could get up on a saw horse to roost. I think he had maybe three wing feathers on each wing.

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

    Goats my little reprobates. Walking mowers and entertainment. Though right now I have none. No poultry or goats or dogs or cats….

    7. Anything you'd like to add?

    Right now I have no livestock with the exception of my horse. I had a cascade failure at my home. I was trucking up water while waiting for the well man to come fix the well. The coyotes got em all.

    It's been about three years now. But I won’t start again 'till I can move up and provide secure housing and ready water with a backup.

    Here is my baby girl Katee. She's a pure bred Percheron.


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  2. N F C

    N F C just 1 more cup pls Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    Beautiful horse and carriage Deb. Thanks for sharing a bit of your story with us, it was a pleasure to read about your birds!
  3. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Sing Brightly Premium Member Project Manager

    Aug 1, 2015
    Very nice interview, Katee is beautiful. :clap
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    HOLY CROW...I LOVE your territory....your dream home!!! I absolutely LOVE those rocks in the back....My kind of living!! :)

    Lovely interview Deb, thanks for sharing!! :)
  6. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Thanks it was fun.... The carriage is Hickory and I built it from a kit. Its actually a Gentlemans Road Cart. Totally impractical but thats what I wanted at the time.

    2 people like this.
  7. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    I used to live in Roswell in 1960-64. This was the closest thing environment wise I could find to that. The rocks were just a bonus. The ones in the back ground range in size of from Volkswagon bug to School bus. When the Guineas went up there thier voices would echo.

  8. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    YAY!! I love this!
    You write so well.

    This line could be me." The result of having an incubator and too much time on his hands."
    I can see it so plainly.

    It would be awful.
    Fowl and feathers everywhere -and a tired and weary look on my husband's face.
    That is why I refuse to get an incubator.

    I am rooting for you to get back up to your high country.
    Sell that book and do it!
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    You already know how I feel about other comment needed! [​IMG]
  10. N F C

    N F C just 1 more cup pls Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    Now I'm even more built the carriage? Holy schmokes.

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