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BYC Member Interview - Tesumph

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by sumi, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Tipperary, Ireland
    Caitlin, known to BYC members as Tesumph, has been a member of our community since July 2015. One of our wonderful all rounders, she will often be found on @KikisGirls's Balut eggs: 2 live ducks! thread, chatting with friends.

    1. Tell us a bit more about yourself.

    Hi there! My real name is Caitlin but I’ve gone by “Tesumph” online for several years now. I got married at the beginning of the year to the most amazing and supportive man I could’ve ever asked for.

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    He’s ALMOST as much of an animal freak as me. ;)

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    We’re currently living out in the country on acreage, but hope to be moving to a neighborhood at the end of the year for school purposes.

    My biggest passion and joy in life by far is animals; according to my mom I decided at three years old that I was going to be a veterinarian. Well here I am, 20 years old and still determined to achieve that dream! I am about a year and a half shy of getting my bachelor’s in biology, and after that I’ll be applying to A&M’s vet school (go Aggies and all that..), hoping to specialize in small exotics. I truly can’t imagine living my life doing something that doesn’t involve animals, so keep your fingers crossed for me, haha!

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    Besides animals, some of my other pastimes include reading, gaming, and drawing. I’m always seeking motivation and inspiration for art, and as much as I’ve fiddled with the idea of taking it a step further, life is busy so I know it’ll always be “just a hobby.” My favorite medium is the ever underrated ballpoint pen, but I am currently trying my best (and failing lots!) to improve in water-colour.

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    2. Why and when did you start keeping chickens?

    I got my first flock of chickens as a kid, but for the most part my mom did the actual legwork of taking care of them. That flock ended up being wiped out very quickly right at POL by what I now believe to be Marek’s disease.

    We had plenty of time to mourn and learn from our mistakes, and after moving we decided to convert an old dog run on the new property to a chicken run. Three years ago we dove back into chicken keeping with much more research under our belts! This is our old flock, investigating my sister’s very strange and curious puppy.

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    We kept that wonderful and diverse flock of around 20-25 chickens until hurricane Harvey struck. Our coop was totally flattened by a tree and our run became a community chicken swimming pool. Picture shows how high the water was, up to that plywood board, and this was the part of the run that had already been elevated with sand!

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    Thankfully we had very minimal casualties, but we ultimately decided between dealing with damages, having no real coop, and trying to manage such a small emergency run that it was not fair to our flock to keep them like that. I gave them all over to (what would now be) my mother-in-law, and they are currently still living happily with her flock, enjoying their free range ranch life all day long.

    Given the hurt of losing all my birds, I didn’t think I would have chickens again for a very long time. Thankfully I was wrong. :)

    About a year ago I started having neurological problems flair up, aside from the usual migraines I had been dealing with. I’ll spare all the boring details, but I was eventually diagnosed with epilepsy and a possible heart problem earlier this year and have been learning how to live with that since. Suddenly losing basic freedoms like driving or cooking by yourself is pretty rough. As any person with a chronic health condition can tell you, it absolutely sucks losing privileges that you always took for granted!
    Our plan before getting married was to move this summer so I could continue my education, but due to my health we had to hold off; eventually it was decided that I had to take a break from this semester entirely. School was my entire identity so I knew I had to find something to keep me from rotting at home.

    So we turned to chickens! We ummed and ahhed over whether we should look into an indoor animal, but finally decided that chickens could be the low maintenance hobby I needed to get out of the house. It’s been about a 2 month journey fixing up the damaged run that we already had, but I’m finally at a place where I can call it done.

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    My chicklets are now 4-5 weeks old and I fall in love with them more every day.

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    Unfortunately I’m near convinced that most are roosters, but that’s another problem for another time. ;)

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

    Chicken TV. If my husband ever loses sight of me, he now knows to check the chicken coop first. I could sit and watch them for hours, and I know everyone here can relate! Who needs Netflix when you’ve got a pack of cottonball raptors in your backyard?

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    I also love spoiling them. Not with treats, but by enriching their surroundings and giving them new things to explore. It’s my favorite part of owning any animal, setting up their home and being able to just watch them do their thing.

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

    In my first flock as a kid, I had a little blue Cochin named Bluey (my naming skills haven’t improved since then). Bluey was the cutest chicken who ever lived. She would run right up to me and stare up with her big beady eyes until I would lower my arm for her to hop up on. Then I would parade her around like a queen and hold her up to the outdoor lights during Junebug season. Bluey would feast! And when she was done, she’d politely indicate that she wanted down and would waddle off on her royal way, probably to brag to the others.

    (this is one of only two pictures I could find of Bluey!)

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    In my last flock was a certain barred rock who I love to pieces. One day I was in the coop and heard a rustling sound behind the big heavy egg box. I was positive it was an opossum or a huge snake and very carefully peaked behind and.. it was a chicken! She had somehow wedged herself in the tiniest gap and had been stuck for who knows how long. We managed to get her out and discovered she had chipped off the tip of her beak. She recovered from the stress and dehydration just fine but that tip never grew back, so she was called Nubnub. Nubnub is currently alive and well, and still runs up to me for pets when I go and visit my in-laws.

    I don’t have any photos, sorry. If I didn’t know that she would miss her flock terribly, I would’ve stolen her back by now. ;)

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

    Several times I tried to sneak sick chickens into my parent’s house without my dad noticing (my mom was always in on it). It worked flawlessly for the most part, until one day when I was asked why there was clucking coming from my room. :) oops.

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    Another time I walked inside with a sickly prolapsed leghorn and ran straight into my dad who asked what the red thing hanging out her backside was. “That’s her prolapsed anus, I’m about to go push it back inside.” He dry heaved and walked away with no comment.

    But the all time funniest chicken memory I have is of one day when I was watching my mom collect eggs. She blindly reached her hand into a nest box and suddenly screamed bloody murder, leapt a foot in the air and ran away so fast Usain Bolt would’ve been jealous. She had given a fat, egg-stuffed ratsnake a nice belly rub! I spent a long time convincing her she had not just groped a rattlesnake or cottonmouth, and a much longer time catching my breath and wiping the tears from my eyes.
    We are overrun with ratsnakes, and my mom absolutely loves them (obviously). ;)

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

    I was always the “animal kid” in the family; all my parent’s animals were really my animals and my responsibility. That being said, since getting married we have had a bit of a “step-child” situation. My parent’s three dogs will alternate sleeping over at our house, two of which are my namesake. :)

    Triumph is the oldest and we are positively attached at the hip. He is the biggest most loving goofball of a dog in the world and I love him to bits.

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    This is his bestie, Tesa. She is incredibly blonde in all regards, but never fails to be a loving and doting wife. A true role model. :)

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    And the mastermind of the pack, Clementine. Clem is actually more cat than dog and prefers to sit back and watch the other two make fools of themselves, or even better, lead them into trouble and then act innocent.

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    We also currently have one cat, Frisk. Make no mistake, Frisk chose us, not the other way around. She is the real queen bee in this town.

    (Frisk on the right, and Art on the left, who has since been rehomed for being a buttonhole.)

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    This property is a hotspot for strays so they often come and go, but we spay and neuter any we can get our hands on and try to find homes for whoever we can. Every so often one likes us and we like them so they stick around.

    I also have a leopard gecko, Finn, who I am convinced is immortal and will outlive us all.

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    I can’t leave out my chubby boy Peter, my ferret who passed away a couple of months ago, and my fat mama Tinks, who vanished over Christmas.

    RIP sweet babies.

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    We try to keep the amount of animals around down to a dull roar, especially since I moved out, but I could never live without at least one in the house. Hubby and I hope to adopt a dog of our own not long after we move.

    7. Anything you'd like to add?

    Not much, but I would like to thank this community for consistently making me laugh and giving me the support I need. It’s full of goofballs, geniuses, total nutjobs.. and I love it to bits. The Christ-like love that is shown on this humble poultry forum is always there to warm me and remind me to never stop finding my joy. I’m so glad I resurrected this account when I did, I can’t imagine not having my silly chicken friends around during this time of my life.

    Anyway, enough sap. Thanks for reading. :love

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

  2. KikiLeigh02

    KikiLeigh02 Free Ranging

    May 11, 2018
    Western Kentucky
    Wonderful interview @Tesumph, love seeing your beautiful artwork! Love all the photos, especially the one of Peter. My all-time favorite pet was an albino ferret named Winston, sweetest critter I've ever had.
  3. shawluvsbirds

    shawluvsbirds "FAKE EILLEEN"

    Apr 17, 2017
    What a lovely story. I Laughed and cried. It's always nice to get to know more about the people behind the screen! Best of luck to you and all your endeavors!
    Your drawings are excellent btw :thumbsup
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Wow, what a fabulous interview! You are talented on so many levels. :) Good luck with your schooling, I am glad you are following a calling in life. You are headed for greatness in all aspects of living. :)

    Thanks for sharing!
  5. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki TwatterSpotter

    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    We all adore you!
    You rock!
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    One of the best interviews I've read, but I am not surprised in the least as I'd already learned to admire your spirit, humor, talents, and intelligence. You are an amazing young woman, thanks for sharing here and all over the forums.
  7. Tesumph

    Tesumph Crossing the Road

    Jul 10, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    Hey, this is me! Again, thank you so much BYC staff for maintaining such a wonderful site with such amazing members. I’m honored to be lumped in with the true VIP’s! :lol:
  8. ronott1

    ronott1 A chicken will always remember the egg

    Mar 31, 2011
    Woodland, CA
    My Coop

    Very nice interview!

    I hope the health issues will resolve for you
  9. Pugsabi

    Pugsabi Free Ranging

    Jun 5, 2018
    Arlington, Texas
    :loveAwesome interview!
  10. getaclue

    getaclue Enabler

    Jun 19, 2013
    Central Florida
    Wonderful interview! Thank you for sharing.

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