When I first started raising parrots more than 20 years ago, I
found out that the adage “bird brain” was totally wrong! I
owned a pet shop and had a variety of critters that helped me
learn that birds have a very high intelligence.
When I decided to start into poultry more than 12 years ago,
I started with guineas for the natural tick control. That led to
ducks. That led to chickens a year later. I started reading
everything I could find about poultry and all I could find that
I liked at the local feed store was New Hampshires.
I liked the reddish color, but found the hatchery chicks were
plagued with bent toes and a myriad of other shortcomings.
After finding some information about Buckeyes, I researched
everything I could and decided they were the most perfect
birds for my cold NW Ohio farm.
I bought some eggs from Tim Johnson at Bowling Green,
Ohio and my magnificent journey began! I hatched out that
first bunch of eggs and the babies were wonderful, so
healthy and adaptable to everything. Tim said he had gotten
his first birds from Laura Haggarty, so, I contacted her and
struck up a friendship with her and she told me many
wonderful facts about the versatile Buckeye.
My granddaughter took two of those original birds for her
first year of 4-H and won Best LF Cockerel and Best LF
Pullet and the race was on to breed bigger and better.
I bugged Laura for more information and more birds. I got
Chris McCary’s name and I sent to get some hatching eggs.
They were packed beautifully and we had about a 70%
The birds we raised from those eggs were undeniably
glorious! Beautiful temperament, wonderful egg layers, great
foragers and all around perfect homestead birds.
My granddaughter wanted to start showing birds, so we went
to Ohio Nationals with our friends and we were bitten by the
Now, we are trying to breed our Buckeyes to get as close to
the original dreams of Nettie Metcalf when she developed
this breed. I read and reread the SOP and ask the great
breeders what I should do to advance my birds to get better
with each successive breeding. The true Buckeye fans are
some of the most helpful and edifying people I know!
In addition to my Buckeyes, I breed New Hampshire layers
crossed with Buckeyes for my egg business. I have many
loyal customers who love my brown eggs! I also have
bantam Cochins, Silkies, Muscovies and turkeys.
I also raise Seramas for pets and for showing and have
recently completed Therapy Animal training through OSU. I
am a 4-H adviser with the Superior Farmer’s 4-H Club,
which is celebrating 70 years of being a club in Williams
I also am a certified pullorum tester through the state of
Ohio, which helps the 4-H youth have a low- cost way to
have their birds tested.
To support my poultry habit, I work full-time for the
Williams County Engineer’s Office where I have been
calculating drainage essentials for 17 years.
My very tolerant husband, Jody, of 42 years and my two
grown daughters, Jennifer and Jana, along with my five
grandchildren have been very understanding of my poultry
addiction! Now I am getting two of my granddaughters to
help me and they are finding they love the birds too and
really enjoy showing and going to the shows.