cynda williams

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since Nov 18, 2019
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Biography
Retired certified organic poultry & veggie producer. A real "eyesore" to the neighborhood! Collected other's cast-offs to create a wonderful place for poultry. Created an enormous pollinator garden that doubled as protection for my broody hens from airborne predators. Planted mulberry trees, red-twig dogwoods for shade and food. Still considered the "chicken guru" and give advice on poultry issues. Worked in a 155 ac. woodlot in northern Vermont for 8 years, volunteered at Audubon Nature Centers for 6 years, walked the Bluebirds Across America Trails. Still kicking at 72 years young.
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Recent posts by cynda williams

Unusual facts about me. I am one of 12 children, three mothers, two fathers. I didn't meet my birth father until I was 32. I  met some of  my fathers children when I was 32. I have a brother (by my father, who has since died) who's birthday is two days later than mine. He was several years younger than I. We had so much in common it was very strange. We both liked the outdoors, fishing, camping and similar clothing! My birth father's second wife is like a mother to me and took me in when I first spent time with my father. I didn't like him much, he was a braggart but he was my father. My youngest brother was 18 years younger than I. One of my sisters is 3 months older than I. We first met at our father's funeral and when we were comparing birth dates we discovered how close we were in age. She was so upset, she left the reception. One of my father's daughters is an actual "mini-me". We have the same build, same skinny legs! She and I are both gardeners.

The strangest/scariest thing that happened to me is when I went camping in the Colorado mountains in September. I met up with a friend who was supposed to arrange a camping trip and all the necessary camping accessories. When I arrived in Denver, I discovered he had done less than he promised, including arranging a camping site. We decided to go anyway. We drove to a place called Buck Snort (REALLY!) and found a campground close by. It was closed for the season but the owner took pity on us and let us stay in a campsite. We had the pick of the place. It was sleeting like mad when we finally arrived and I set up camp. My friend was totally incompetent and had no idea how to set up a tent. I got soaked but had dry clothes in the car. I cooked supper on Sterno inside the car. My friend wanted to take food into the tent but I forbade it. We argued about it. I told him if he wanted food, he should sleep in the car!

During the night, I heard noise outside the tent. I quickly put my hand over my friend's mouth and whispered him to be quiet, don't breathe!!! We listened as a very large animal circled the tent, sniffing out what was inside. I was seriously afraid my friend would bolt out of the tent! After 10 or 15 minutes, the animal left and I fell asleep again.

In the morning, I woke up to a clear, blue sky. Not a cloud to mark the brilliant blue. In the distance was Pike's Peak! Covered in snow and more beautiful than I ever imagined. I looked at the spoor prints around the tent. It had been a large bear who had circled the tent 3-4 times before he decided we weren't worth the effort. I told my friend that we would be dead if he had taken food into the tent!

As I was cooking breakfast over an open fire, a yellow tabby kitty came to join us. I fed him bacon and eggs, we packed up camp and kitty went with us. I asked the camp owner if this was his kitty. He said that many folks brought kitties and then abandoned them at the sites. My friend took the kitty home with him.

This was only one of my adventures in the wild. I have many more stories like this. I will say that the bear encounter was probably the scariest.
1 month ago
I was introduced to Earthing by a friend about 13 months ago. She came to visit and shared a grounding mat with me for the few days she was here. I was skeptical but tried it. I'm 75 years old and have always worked physical jobs vs. office jobs. While in college, I paid my way cleaning homes during days and when school was out, office buildings and picked up some extra cleaning jobs. I ran my own company that did everything, including removing wood storm windows from 3rd floor homes, bringing them down ladders and then installing the screens. I washed third floor windows on a ladder which I set up. In fall, I reversed the process. I ran a painting company for many years. We did historic restoration, sometimes installing staging upwards to 45 feet high. I have managed a wood lot of 155 acres, cut cords of wood, split, loaded and delivered on my stake bed pick up truck. I built the stake bed. I am a master gardener. Now, my body is complaining about how badly I have mistreated my body! I have arthritis in my spine, hands, neck, hips and probably everywhere else.

After my friend left, I looked into Earthing. I purchased a mattress cover, grounding leads, patches and an earthing pad in a "bundle". I will say that I feel so much better since Earthing. I live in the northeast where winters are too cold to go barefoot. I can say that after a day of heavy gardening, I go to bed grounded on the mattress and with the patches attached to a grounding cord and wake up feeling pretty good.

Since all the medical profession offers me is Ibuprofen and other dangerous drugs to counter the pain, Earthing is so much better! NO drugs or side effects. I hooked my friend up to an Earthing patch system one day. After 3 hours he went home. In 2020, he had shingles and had been suffering from the residual pain. After 3 hours of Earthing, his shingles pain was gone.

Some don't find it helpful. Some do. It is a one time investment that might prove to work for you.

That's my two cents on this matter.
2 months ago
Hey Permies folks,

I changed my email several weeks ago but now don't get any mail from you. I followed the instructions and thought things were worked out but seems not.

So, please send me some information/suggestions on how to start getting permies dailies and other emails from you guys.

Updated email address is ctw1949@proton.me (old email address was ctw1949@copper.net).

Thanks!
I have gone to my profile to update and remove old email address. I will do this again. Hopefully it will work this time. Thanks!
So I have changed my email address with you. I received an email with a link to click to confirm my new address...however, that link is not working at this time. I was able to sign in using my NEW email address...so I'm wondering where do I contact real people for help. Maybe none is needed but I want to be sure I don't loose this contact.

Advice please. Thanks
Hey Folks, Regarding keeping a light on all night for the birds, when I first began raising day-old chicks, I had a red broody lamp for heat in the coop. I didn't understand why I found one bird pecked to death by the other birds. The local chicken educator told me that if a light is left on all night, the chickens can get too excited and that's why they pecked the one young chick to death. This light was on after the chicks were 6 weeks old. It was cold and I didn't understand that once chickens are feathered out, they don't need extra heat at night. I felt so guilty (and stupid) over this event. I thought I would add this info to this post thread.
6 months ago
I'm retired from the chicken ranching business now. I've had up to 145 birds at one time, many were pullets and cockerels hatched by broody hens. I read the posts on this thread and found it interesting that some of your chickens molted in fall when the days got shorter. My birds always began to molt in late July or early August. I live on the south coastal area of Massachusetts. It is very hot and humid here during those months.

Regarding the supplemental lighting for egg production, I had a timer for the light. I set the timer to come on at 4 AM rather than in the evening. It seemed to me to be unfair to have the light suddenly shut off, leaving the hens in total dark, not able to find the roosts. While not giving the preferred 12 hours of daylight, the extra light in the morning seemed to be sufficient for better egg production during long nights.

Even with the supplemental lighting, laying will slack off. Long nights make for hungry birds when the light comes on or daybreak arrives. I've found that feeding sprouted whole corn fed late in the afternoons will prevent ravenous birds in the am. It works well to get the birds inside their coops before dark so you can retain some of the daytime heat. Tossing the sprouted whole corn on top of the bedding will keep the hens busy and helps with turning the bedding. Some grains will remain overnight and the birds will search in the morning, too.

Once a grain has been cracked open (like cracked corn), it looses nutrition. The grain looses it's viability. Feeding sprouted grains (whole wheat, whole corn, whole oats, other ancient whole grains) adds bang for your buck. I'm sure there is a thread on sprouting whole grains on this site.

Feeding sprouted oats in summer will release heat from the bird's bodies, so I didn't feed oats in winter. Whole corn will help heat bodies, so it's best fed in the winter time. The idea that you can't feed chicks with a broody hen whole corn is a fallacy. I have watched broody hens break up sprouted whole corn for their chicks. It's surprising how a week old chick can eat a piece of sprouted corn that momma has broken up. Their eyes are not bigger than their mouths!

Egg production in my flock was back up in full by the end of February. It seems that the heat of summer months reduced egg production but brought on broodiness in some hens, especially Buff Orpingtons.

I hope this helps.
6 months ago
Hey Jeffrey, I understand your struggle! The farm I had was farmed for many years. Then, it became desirable to live in the country. The property next to me was sold to city people. They soon started to complain about my roosters crowing. Roosters will crow in the dead of night, they don't need a reason! My new neighbors were so thrilled to have their lawn installed! They brought in "loam", which is just dirt scraped off some field. The dirt had tons of weed seeds. So, of course, the next thing they did was to apply weed killer. Their property was on a slope upland, so all the weed killer ran down the slope onto my (very healthy, thick) clover yard for the chickens, turkeys and ducks. The year before, I had replanted the chicken yard to Dutch White Clover. All the clover died. I was faced with a mud yard for my birds. The next thing was the new neighbors planted a row of fast growing conifers along our common property line. The trees began to cross over my fence line. I had to prune the trees to prevent my turkeys from escaping. Hawks found places to hide and attack my chickens. The ground was so affected by the weed killer, I couldn't get any more clover to grow. It was just a muddy poultry pasture. After a couple of years, I gave up and sold out. City people who move to the country...wanting the country life really don't. They want the city in the country!

You are correct in your way of learning. It's called the School of Hard Knocks. On-hand learning is the best way to find out how to do something. The Amish do have the right path to better land stewardship. But not all they do is the best way. Reading, joining your state's organic organization, watching videos and then trying what you have seen & learned. Perseverance is the only way to succeed.

Good luck!
7 months ago