Hi there! I am VERY new to all of this. I always wanted to live on a farm. 5 years ago my hubby & I bought a few acres and built a house and large garage where he has a small woodworking biz. Just when the house building began I found out I had breast cancer. So that took up some time and my plans for gardening,etc. fell to the wayside. Now I feel good again and have decided to do all the things I always put off doing for myself. I now paint ceramics, bowl on a senior league, and hope to have a few chickens in back yard. Also hope to get my garden going this fall. I think this is a wonderful site and hope to get lots of tips & help. I'm nervous about trying to hatch my 1st chicken eggs. They came in on April 1-so should hatch 4/22. I built a homemade incubator from a cooler (info on web) I've already decided if they don't hatch, I will buy some whatever chickens from the hardware store. I ordered Welsummer eggs because I loved how the chickens look and love brown eggs and they are suposed to be docile chickens. I live on the NC coast, so weather should be pretty nice by the time babies are 6 wk. old. Will possibly have income tax refund back so I can build a chicken coop,soon! We have deer, oposums, big preditor birds, and I imagine foxes,too, out here. so I will be putting a top on my chicken run. We have 5 house dogs,2 outside cats, so I'm sure cats,wild cats and raccoons would be in area as well looking for "lunch". But I want my chickens to have as much time outside scratching around as possible. So thanks in advance for any help you can give esp. if someone lives in a hot, humid climate like ours.