BYC Member Interview - Teila

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by sumi, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Teila has been a member of our community since April 2013. A member of our "Greeter" army, she will most often be found in our New Member section, welcoming new members to our community.

    1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

    I don’t always talk about chickens .. sometimes I’m asleep [​IMG]

    OK, so talking about myself for a change … I was born in England and shipped out to Australia at the tender age of 7. I was the youngest of 3 girls and a well behaved 7 year old, so when my parents announced that we were moving to a country I had never heard of, after ensuring I could take my favourite toy, I hopped on the ship, no questions asked.

    As I type it is currently 93F [34C] and with hindsight, I probably should have done some kicking and screaming and asked some questions like “Are you insane?!”

    I have managed to dodge and survive [touch wood] all the nasties in Australia that can kill you and have even had a pretty good life to date with hopefully many more fun times to come.

    I was married and have one son [Vincent] who is now 30. Sadly, that marriage did not work out and after being a single mum for 15 or so years I met Joel. I have a confession to make, while I call him hubby, we are not married. I am too old for a boyfriend [and while we are best friends, he ain’t no boy]; de facto sounds like something I should go running off to the chicken first aid kit [more extensive than the hooman one] to seek a cure for and partner? well, while we do get up to some funny business, we are not in business so “hubby” it is! We have been together coming up for 8 wonderful years.


    He actually proposed within weeks of us meeting and I diplomatically explained that while I felt the same way, it might be best to wait for a while … 8 years later and I am still waiting! Apparently it was a one time offer [​IMG]

    I spent many years working in the medical field, discharge summary typer, medical receptionist, secretary to various surgeons, orthopaedic, general, plastic etc and finally settled on a career in IT. With hindsight, probably should have done some kicking and screaming at that time also [kidding]. I am lucky, even though it can be stressful and frustrating being the front line support for over 900 people with IT issues, I enjoy it. I have been working for the same company for 16 years now and, working from home, the quiet times allow me to be an active BYC member. Or as Joel calls it "Chookie Chat". We are a geek household in that Joel is a Software Developer, Vincent is also a Developer with additional network and hardware experience plus my IT Support role.

    2. Why and when did you start keeping chickens?

    25 or so years ago, a long time before Bambrook Bantams was hatched, the X and I purchased a property in Rural Western Australia. The property came complete with an empty chicken coop and run. Thinking “we can’t leave that empty”; we fixed it up a little and went out in search of new residents.

    Note: this was my first experience with chickens.

    We drove to a hatchery and purchased 6 by large White Chickens. Now, these White Chickens probably had a breed name but our total lack of chicken knowledge at this time resulted in them being White Chickens!.

    These White Chickens were apparently well past their use by date at the tender age of 16 months and I hoped I was doing them a favour by rescuing them.

    Anyways, got them home, popped the box into the run, opened the box and gently lifted out each girl and placed her on the ground.

    What happened next still brings a tear to my eye to this day …. They didn’t move, they all stayed exactly where we had put them for at least 10 minutes. We tried giving them an ever so gentle prod; nothing, no movement. It was at this point we realised that, as a result of confinement in a tiny cage, in a hatchery, these gals did not realise that they could move!

    Not long after our realisation, the gals had a realisation of their own in that their legs did have a purpose and from that moment on, they made up for lost time! These gals scratched, dug, explored, sun bathed, dust bathed and regardless of how nice we were to them, made use of those legs to ensure that we were never able to catch them!

    Sadly, circumstances required that we sold the property but the gals moved in with a neighbour who had fallen in love with them as much as I and I assume they spent many happy years scratching around in their back garden.

    Fast forward 20 years from this point and we are now in Bundaberg, on the East Coast of Australia where we find ourselves with a large back garden and an area perfect for chickens.

    Once again, after a little ‘fixing up’ we now have 6 by large Brown Chickens. Yes, these Brown Chickens probably also had a breed name, but our still limited knowledge of chickens, resulted in them being Brown Chickens!


    Sadly, once again, we had to move on but these gals went to live with a work colleague who also had chickens and while they may have passed away by now; my colleague stayed in touch for many years and let me know that the Brown gals were doing well.

    Fast forward 3 years from this point and we are now in Brisbane, still on the East Coast of Australia and Bambrook Bantams is hatched.

    We are cat lovers, having two beautiful, inside cats for whom we purchased a chicken coop as an outside play area. We added a run to the coop and the cats were happy enough in their outside play area for a short amount of time.

    Then we realised that the chicken coop and run were not big enough for the cats so we built them something much better.

    This means we now have an empty chicken coop and run and again “we can’t leave that empty”!

    This chicken coop and run is nowhere near big enough to house 6 by White Chickens or 6 by Brown Chickens so I do some research, the new residents are purchased and we now have 2 by Pekins or depending on from where you hail, Bantam Cochins, Pekin Cochins, Pekin Bantams etc!

    Not only do we have chickens again but these ones have a breed name! And, for the first time, they have names of their own … Cilla and Ash.

    4 years later, we still have Cilla; sadly we lost Ash to inexperience; a coop in the wrong place, damp conditions and subsequent infection. Lesson learnt and coop moved.

    So, after having chickens in the past, while I enjoyed them, took care of them and made sure all their needs were met, I didn’t really notice their individual chickenalities and they all looked alike to me!

    The last four years have been anything but the above. Not only do I still enjoy having chickens, I have also learnt about chicken-math, lice infestations, sour/impacted crop, egg binding, remnants of soft shell egg inside the chicken, sudden death and many other things related to chickens, including some breed names which I now use rather than White Chicken and Brown Chicken!

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

    I love getting up at 5AM to let them out and no summer is complete without breaking multiple broodies .. said no chicken keeper, ever!

    Seriously, there are too many aspects to list. I love how they come running across the lawn when breakfast is ready. Not a day goes by that they do not give me a reason to chuckle or smile. Regardless of how stressful my day has been, when I down tools and walk out the door at 4PM, the girls never fail to wipe away the stresses of the day.

    My neighbours, on the other hand, are probably very concerned .. me doing ninja chickens impressions with the girls is probably good grounds for said concern.

    They are of great assistance if you are dieting … can’t remember the last time I got to eat all of my lunch without sharing!

    Did someone mention lunch? We're there!


    Joel's favourite time is probably doling out the meal worms:


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

    Cilla probably stands out in that she is one of my original two and the matriarch of the flock. She is my feathered little beach ball and such a sweetheart:


    Blondie also stands out and many of you will already know Blondie from her Blondzilla moments:

    Aaaw gees, they all stand out!

    Dusty, 2IC .. affectionately nicknamed Dustbin:

    LuLu, Joel’s chickens and definitely daddy’s little girl:
    She has learnt that if she ditches the rest of the flock and sneaks up to Dad on the deck, she gets extra meal worms.

    Crystal, who does wonderful duck x peacock impersonations and the reason free range went from supervised to all day .. she is loud!

    RIP sweet little KiKi, Suzi and Tina [​IMG]




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

    I have written a few funny stories about the gals but this one stands out as my favourite …

    “HELP, monster, HELP, monster” was all I could hear as I raced out the front door half asleep and half dressed.

    A flaw of mine is that while I make a good Chicken Servant, I apparently do not make a good Chicken Body Guard because I failed to see anything even remotely monster-like on my 15min surveillance of the property and perimeters.

    So, as it was not quite the scheduled Princess Breakfast Time, back to bed I went.

    “HELP, monster, HELP, monster” .. luckily, this time while back to half asleep, I am fully dressed as I once again race out the front door.

    My bad … with all the noise they were making, I was looking for anything over at least 60cms tall or 60cm long, may be aerial, may be scaled, may be furry etc.

    I mistook the “HELP, monster” alarm for the “Princesses do not receive non breakfast bearing visitors before 9am” alarm … Bazza the Cane Toad had dropped by for a visit.

    With Joel’s help, because the whole household was now up, Bazza was escorted off the premises and was last seen making his escape across the fish pond; most likely regretting his decision to visit uninvited and wondering if they make industrial strength ear plugs in cane toad sizes.

    Bazza and the misses, safe at home in their favourite flower pot:


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

    We have two adorable puddy cats, Syba (8 year old male) and Chimee (6 year old female). They are indoor cats who have an outdoor run and are also lead trained and get to go for walks.


    "Get off BYC and pay attention to me!:"




    My son and I rescued Syba only months before I met Joel. Joel moved in and Syba claimed him! He is now well and truly Joel’s cat. Chimee is no-one’s cat and we are hers!

    Joel went away on business for a few days and when he got home I met him at the front door and announced “Next time you go away, you are either taking Syba or Me with you! Do not leave me alone with him again!” Syba spent the whole time giving me “what have you done with him?” looks and took to sitting in the hallway, howling at 4AM!

    We also have a few goldfish in ponds:


    I love spending time in the garden:

    7. Anything you'd like to add?

    You are still awake and looking for more?

    I love BYC! Not only has the great advice received on this site saved the lives of a couple of our gals over the years, I have made so many wonderful friends.

    Thank You One and All!

    We actually have one more move planned and hopefully the last one .. we are moving from sub tropical to tropical and a mere 1,300kms [807 miles] over which to trek 5 chickens and 2 cats! It is not going to be easy and I have no doubt I will be asking myself “are you insane” but I also know that the friendship and support I will get from my friends on BYC will make it easier and the best bit, I get to take you all with me!

    We are going to be 5mins walk away from this!


    Thank you reading and allowing me to share [​IMG]

    See here for more about the interview feature and a complete list of member interviews:
  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    [​IMG] You've had a busy life!
    CapricornFarm and MrsMistyReal like this.
  3. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    Hi Teila, terrific interview! [​IMG]

    I enjoyed your stories and pictures and look forward to many more. You've become a real asset to the community and I'm glad we've become friends.

    Thanks for sharing a bit of your life with all of us!
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    [​IMG] Love your sense of humor and good common sense!
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
    CapricornFarm likes this.
  5. scottcaddy

    scottcaddy Crowing

    Good Morning, Teila [​IMG]
    That is a very nice interview, Thanks for the rest of the story.
    Yes, I am following your move story as you post it, you don't post enough. [​IMG]
    CapricornFarm likes this.
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Good read.
  7. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Good interview! So glad that I had the chance to get to know you better!
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hey, Teila, great interview. I think it is time for you to propose to him.
    CapricornFarm likes this.
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Oooh oooh! I've always wanted to attend a wedding in Australia....... (well, as of 2 minutes ago I didn't know that I'd always wanted to do that yet, but now I do!)
  10. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft!

    It's so wonderful getting to know you better Teila! Such a great interview! :hugs

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