BYC Member Interview - seminolewind


Rest in Peace 1980-2020
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
Karen, known to BYC members as seminolewind, is yet another member that needs no introduction. One of our "old timers", she has been a member of our community since July 2007. Karen is known as one of our experts on the dreaded Mareks disease and she will often be found in the Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures forum section, giving wonderful advice and offering support to members with sick or injured birds.

1. Tell a bit about yourself

Hi my name is Karen. I'm 55 this year and live north of Tampa Florida. I have a Hubby, and a Daughter who is a nurse and lives in Texas with my 3 grandchildren. I grew up as a miIitary brat, and lived in Turkey and Germany as well as some states here in the US. I have a dog with a seizure disorder, and a wonderful mare who goes by Princess, LOL. She's a Tennessee Walking Horse. I've been a nurse for 20 years (Neonatal) and I'm taking a break from it, and decided to try my hand at being a hoof trimmer.

I currently have 34 pet chickens and 6 Geese. Half of my chickens are Polish, and the rest are Jerseys, Speckled Sussex, Orpingtons, Houdans, a Barred Rock, a Wyandotte, and a White Faverolle. My oldest are 7 years old.

2. Why and when did you start keeping chickens?

A rooster adopted me in New York about 15 years ago. He lived with the horses. After a few years, he jumped the fence in with my dogs and they took naps together. I hated leaving him behind when we moved, but it was safer that way, and the new owners had horses.

In Florida, I decided to get this Barred Rock rooster and ended up giving him to the boy next door. The people next door got him a hen, and I questioned if it was a hen and searched on line for how to find the difference, and came across BYC. After reading a bit, I was hooked and joined and ordered my first chicks. I only wanted 4 chickens. In 7 years I've had up to 40 at some times. I think now as the old ones pass on, I will downsize a bit.

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

I loved hatching. I love building shelters and pens . I love hanging out with my girls and having some coffee. In the evening, I sit out and my girls gather around me to hang out. That's what I like the best.

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

Wow. Many. In the beginning I had 2 Polish roo brothers. They got along. Ivan, and Ugly Eddy, who was never quite right. When my Husband came home from work, Eddy is what we talked about. He was the bottom of the totem pole. He'd jump on a hen and they would fling him a few feet! But if Ivan picked on him, the Hens would come running to protect him. Sometimes Eddy would walk behind his brother and act like he would attack him- until Ivan turned around. Ivan was a true rooster. He made rounds at bedtime to be sure every one was in. He warmed the nests. He cheered them on when they laid eggs. He called them for treats and never ate one. I could pick him up and hug him.



I've had a few hens that have jumped into my lap just because they feel like it. I have Lola in my avatar who has been "in our face" for 5 years. She's the candidate for house chicken if I didn't have the dog. If you bend over, she jumps on your back. If you smile, she'll peck your teeth. She loves to have her beard tickled. I would say that less than a handful are just "flock hens".
Most people here know that there are just some chickens that want to be around you all the time. My hens all have personalities of their own. All my roosters are good with people and most can be picked up.

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

My rooster in New York would peck on the patio doors for the dogs to come out. The doggy door was right next to the door and I felt it was a matter of time for him to find it and let himself in.

My husband wanted nothing to do with chickens. But he started going out in the morning and giving them treats. Next thing I know is Hubby is learning their names!!!! All of them!!!!

I have 2 hens that are winos. They insist that I share with them. I do until some speck of dirt or something falls in the glass.

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

I have a Boston Terrier, a horse, and have just added 6 geese this year. Geese are great. They follow me around. If I sit they come over and continuously chew on everything I'm wearing. Some have gotten so trusting that I can kiss them on the beak. They do not like to be petted, but will get very attached. My first horse died of old age at 37 years old. Princess is my 2nd horse who I didn't know was pregnant until a month before she gave birth-to a mule. What a surprise! Sadly, I didn't have time for 2 and I found a wonderful home for my mule, Buttercup.

7. Anything you'd like to add?

With happiness, there's sadness. I've lost alot of chickens to Marek's Virus. I've spent the last 4 years obsessively reading and learning, and still do. I try to share my experiences and what I've learned , and have met many members that are a wealth of information as well.

I love being a member of BYC. I started here with a zillion questions, and now, as a more senior member, I love sharing what I know or have experienced with others. I like helping people feel better when they've had something sad happen. I love being a member with other people who understand emotional attachment to chickens. The people I get to know here are great.

Just some random pictures:

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Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
15 Years
Feb 3, 2007
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Karen, I'm so happy you to do this interview! You've been such a dear friend and support for me for years, loving my birds as I loved yours, and one of yours, especially -you know I mean our Valerie, sister to my Gypsy. You are a sweet and generous soul and I am so glad to know you! I love to see your coop set up down there in steamy, sandy Florida. Thanks again!

ETA: Those geese are gorgeous!! Wonderful pictures all around.
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BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Dec 12, 2013
A wonderful interview Karen! Love the pictures and learning more about your animals. Also, been meaning to mention for some time now, your Shel Silverstein quote is one of my favorites, glad we share that.

Thank you for letting us into a bit of your life.


7 Years
Jul 15, 2013
Foster, Kentucky
Thank you for taking the time to share. Your pictures are great! Wow, you had a horse that lived until 37? You must have taken amazingly good care of her or him! How wonderful!


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Sep 25, 2007
Loved it, thanks, Karen, for sharing with us all! Loved your stories, and though we've chatted a bit, I didn't know you were a NICU nurse. My step-daughter is also a NICU nurse, and shares wonderful (and awfully sad) stories with me about her work. So takes a special person to do that work, and I am totally NOT surprised that's what you did.

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