Hello there friends and fellow poultry lovers! Bantambird here, doing something new, for me at least. I have been a lurker on these forums for a number of years, then i finally made an account. Then i still mostly lurked the halls of these forums. Let me start by saying i have been reading posts from many people, about many topics. Sometimes i even contribute now that i have my snazzy android phone! So let me tell you about me and my family. I have been bantambird on tge internet for 20 years, since online videogaming was really getting started. That's right folks, my other hobby is video games. Along with cooking and gardening and poultry keeping. You can even find one of my avatars still up in world of warcraft, although between 3 kids i don't have the time for games anymore. So now gamer avatar bantambird is retited, now it is just bird forum bantambird. So many times as a gamer, the first question would be, " are you really a girl?" Followed shortly by "What is a bantambird?" Needless to say, on this forum neither question ever comes up. I work full time pushing carts and organising the warehouse in a local hospital in Montana where i work. It is boring and mindless, but i like the people that I work with. Mostly. In this state, the women are strong. Most of the native rural women here are weather beaten and hard working. I have ranching in my blood, and my parents own a small spread in central Montana near the badlands in one of the least populated counties of the lower 48, with only 435 people living in the entire county. We still gather for branding in the spring and roast rocky mountain oysters and each family hosts a different weekend until everyone gets done branding. Their spread is 5 square miles deede and 5 square miles BLM. It is all checkerboarded, as the ranch has been in the family over 100 years and is one of the few homesteads held by the same family over the years. The ranch house itself is acually a Frankenstein conglomeration of 3 homestead shacks smooshed together and sided over with white abestos siding and a dirt cellar that hosts snakes, spiders, and the occasional skunk. We keep the door to the basement CLOSED thank you very much! In that part of the country, this is a small ranch, because the land is semi arid. That is to say, high plains, shortgrass prairie. The soil is extremely alkaline, and there are salt flats left from the inland ocean. It gets over 100 in the summer, and drops below -30 in the winters. You have to be hard to live there. My dad has been out there religiously restoring the old place, pacing 40 miles of fence, and building a new home, the first new home on the place for over 50 years. Cows and grass are the yields of the land there. It does sit on the edge of the Golden Triangle, a moniker given to the best wheat growing region in Montana, possibly some of the best wheat in the world comes from the Golden Triangle. My parents still maintain their family brands, my moms is a horse right shoulder brand, my dad has a cattle brand on the side.Some day I might take over the ranch, if my husband can handle it. I met my husbabd online. Being an avid gamer in my youth, i was constantly online. I met him in World of Warcraft. He is from California. The culture shock for him when he got here was very funny for me, as he is part hispanic. Boy did he get woke up to Western women! He now stays home with the kids and is a stay at home dad, due to debilitating neuropathic pain in the face and head. It is hard for him to handle this! For me, I was raised that everyone works. Gender isnt a factor to work getting done, as long as you have the strenth to do it, you do it. My great grandmother kicked out her good for nothing husband and ran that ranch alone for 30 years, with only 2 ranch hands and my dad and his little brothers. I found his gender bias invalid and based on stereotypes, and he now understands. Sometimes it is hard on his mother however, who would like her son taken care of better! I, however, am not a very good housekeeper! I have learned to cook pretty well though! I have about 80 chickens currently, half are chicks. I also have a dog that hangs out with them, and 11 turkeys, with more turkeys and chicks on the way! I finally put an ad in craigslist to pare down some extras that dont fit into my breeding program. I guess i had better get back to work before i get into trouble!!