Just join the BYC group. I started raising chickens last year for eggs. Got my first six peeps in March 2011, 3 New Hampshire Reds and 3 Black Sex Links, all turned out to be hens. I quickly fell in love with them! Unfortunately I lost one in January due to a dog attack. I let them free range, and one of them was hit by a truck crossing the road, she did survive with what seemed to be with a broken leg. She still limps today, but she did start laying eggs again after about 4 weeks of recovering. I haven't seem any of them crossing the road since then.
This spring I bought 6 CornishX for meat. Found out quickly how lazy those chickens are. They were butchered 6 weeks later and all dressed out to no less than 5 lbs. Decided I didn't like the fact that they just layed around and ate and did not free range. So in March I purchased 25 heavies (supposed to be all roos) for meat. I received a good mixture of breeds (White Wyandottes, RIR, New Hampshire, Speckled Sussex, Partridge Rock, Barred Rock, Buff Rock, Cornish Brown, Lt. Brahmas), also received a bonus chicken (Crested Polish). I want to keep one or two roo's for breeding with my hens, so I can raise my own instead of purchasing them. Just not sure which roo(s) would be best to breed with my hens (any suggestions?). I may even have a few hens in this purchase of the 25. They are 8 weeks old now, but I am not able to determine which, if any, are hens (not experienced enough).
My most recent learning experience is with one of my New Hampshire Hens (the one that was hit by the truck). She has decided to become broody. Wish I had some fertilized eggs for her to sit on!
Anyway that is my background and experience with chickens.