Hello, and welcome to my poultry page on Backyard Chickens. I really like raising chickens and have been raising poultry for over a decade.
My suggestion for those interesting in raising poultry is to jump right in! Sign up with a website like BYC and get educated on everything there is to know about the poultry species in which you are interested. It's far better to be educated and know the basics BEFORE you get into the hobby, rather than trying to fix a mistake later on. Trust me, reading message boards and poultry sites is much better than trying to save a sick bird!
I started raising chickens as a young child. I first started with three little Barred Plymouth Rock hens. They lived to the ripe old ages of 10+ years, dying from simple old age. Ever since my first chickens, I've been hooked! Now, I'm also experimenting with raising other types of poultry species, including raising quail and, of course, the perennial favorites: waterfowl like raising ducks and raising geese . I've also been interested in raising guineafowl (or even the ever-so-majestic peafowl ), but haven't gotten around to that yet.
If you ever have any questions about raising chickens, one of the best sources for poultry information is your local library as well as your local co-operative extension service (if you live in the United States). These two resources are an invaluable source of expert advice and information that is, best of all, completely free! I can't even begin to recount the number of times I called my local extension service for questions about chicken coops, feed and all the basics. They can give you great localized advice and point you toward local suppliers, good feed stores, hatcheries, etc. Check the front of your local telephone book for their telephone number.
Enjoy raising chickens and the self-sufficient lifestyle! Cheers.