It's hard to believe that it's been 40yrs today(05/03/1971) since I got my first chickens. I was only 9yrs old but after visits to my uncles on weekends I knew that I wanted some terribly bad. The desire was deeper than just wanting a certain toy or whatever the fad item was at the time. I was raised by my grandparents who weren't to keen on the idea. My uncle assured that I would have chickens and he made it happen. The deal was that the uncle would come pick me up every other weekend and I would learn how to properly care for them. Little did I know at the time that culling would be the first lesson. Part of owning them he told me. "You can't raise chickens without being able to cull or put sick ones out of their misery" he said. Keep in mind that it was a 90 mile round trip on Friday to pick me up and another 90 mile round trip to take me back home on Sunday. He never fussed or made excuses not to come get me. In fact he made it very clear that I plan nothing on "Chicken Weekend". This went on until I was 16yrs old and could drive down there myself. The other deal was with my grandparents. If I didn't do my chores, the birds didn't get feed/supplies and I would have to give them up. I went through high school, college, and later married and still had my chickens. My DW(bless her heart) has never, ever said anything negative about my birds. Over the years she has come to love them as much as I. We have had anywhere from a dozen to over 600 in the early to mid 90's. We have participated in rescues, re-homing, and other group efforts in chicken welfare. We didn't do this for any glory and often worked many hours without food or rest to help when and where needed. I know to most folks that they are only chickens, but to me they are my life. I just wanted to share this with my friends here at BYC. And if you hear a little 9yr. old wanting chickens...Get Them Some!!! Thanks, Uncle Tom...I still remember.