New from the Puget Sound


7 Years
Nov 2, 2012
Whidbey Island, Washington
Joined today after spending the last two days reading through some incredible threads here. I was web searching info on the latest chicken husbandry methods. A google search repeatedly sent me to this forum.

I was raised on a working beef cattle farm with a herd of pack horses, cow ponies, and assortment of cats and dogs. It was a valuable childhood. Our farm was next door to a chicken rancher. He raised leghorn layers and then later during my teen years he raised replacement pullets. Many thousands of chickens were farmed in our neighborhood and the stench and noise was abominable. My parents didn't want anything to do with chickens because of that so it wasn't until my adult life with children of my own did I finally fulfill my childhood dream. Raise, breed, and show chickens. Many, many, varieties of rare breeds. Both Bantam and Large Fowl.

After my kids moved away and started families of their own I quit raising poultry.

It's been a dozen or more years until now that a chook has graced my yard and company.

A special RIR roo named Johnny. Short for John the Red. A rescue bird dumped on the fair grounds with two other cockerels during a Renaissance festival in Washington State. The reason he is special? I caught him and kept him for three weekends while working that faire. You see, I am a reenactment actress that portrays a humble chicken monger from the 16th century.
The two Barred Rock cockerels were taken to a working farm and I kept, tamed, and trained Johnny to perform at that fair. He took to it immediately. A very smart roo.

This is the beginning of our story together. He is about a year and a half old now. He was still feathering out and growing when he came into my possession. His spurs were barely visible little nubs.
At this time he is an only chicken. That is a sad prospect for him. He has developed many strange and weird idiosyncrasies as a result. Somedays I'm sure he does not know that he is a chicken.

A lot has changed since I raised poultry in the 90's. I no longer believe in the old ways of doing things with a barn cabinet full of medicines and poisons. If they work for others I have no problems with it. Those old methods are not working for me and that is why I am here. This is a vast and wealthy forum with every kind and type of advice. I love that!

So anyhoo...Didn't want to type a blog for my introduction but here is a little glimpse of me and my chicken.

I'm happy to be here. I see a lot of reading in my future!

With all warm regard
Hello and welcome to BYC
Wonderful story!

Thank you sumi. It is a wonderful story and still unfolding.

This image was taken the weekend in August 2011 that John the Red and Mumsy became inseparable. I am over the moon happy to be holding a REAL chicken at opening gate of the faire! See that little fake chicken in my bucket? That's what I had been using with my character for four years! So many city folk approached me and asked if Johnny was a real chicken. He became very tame very quickly that weekend and was socialized with thousands of people that wanted to meet him.
Greetings from Kansas, Mumsy, and
! Pleased you joined our community! That is a great story about how Johnny came into your possession. I'd say he's a lucky fellow! I wish you the best in all your poultry endeavors!!

Thank you for the warm greetings 1 muttsfan, Kevin 565, Red barn Farms, and red soxes. I think this may be a great place to hang out, learn, and connect with a lot of like minded folk.

The first weekend in August 2011 at the faire was a hot one. For Washington in the Pacific NW, anything over 72 degrees is considered summer weather. That August was blistering in the high 80's with a couple days in the 90's. It steamed me good that some yahoo would dump those cockerels on those grounds without protection from the crowds, dogs, and heat. No water and no food.

I rounded up a bunch of fair brats (kids of reenactors) to catch those three cockerels and told them I would give them all a plate of homemade cookies to share. In less than a half an hour I had all three in a rabbit cage someone gave me. Very small for those three big boys. It was a constant worry for me to keep them in the shade behind my pavilion and keep a little bowl of water filled. All I had to feed them was grass I could pick on site and some crusts of bread. They were so stressed out and panting, it was heart breaking. It was also hard to keep crowds from stressing them further by crowding the cage and very wee children putting tiny fingers in the cage. More than one child was nipped. Don't even get me started about the people with HUGE dogs on leash that would let them get close to the cage. I expected those birds to die at any moment of heart failure, heat stroke, or stress. Brutal!

After that first day Johnny showed himself to be the low guy in the pecking order. His comb was bloody and he couldn't catch a break from those two big BR dudes in the small cage. I pulled him out of it and took him around the grounds with me in my arms. He was extremely docile. It was so hot though he was over heating and panting heavily. After the fair closed for the day, I drove into the town close by and bought a five lb. bag of poultry feed and a cat/small dog harness and put it on him. He didn't mind at all. I let him lead me around with a red silk ribbon. All I had for a leash. It beat anything I've ever seen. He became an instant star and people all over the fair wanted their picture taken with the chicken! John the Red the performing renaissance chicken was born that day!

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