I have been wanting chickens for years and just got started a few months ago. I'm still looking around for forum rules, etc. I built a coop out of scraps in the garage and some purchased chicken wire. I have two pretty little hens: an Easter egger and a Rhode Island Red. These girls are my startup chickens, given to me free by a friend who was keeping them but got sick of them letting themselves into her house on hot days and pooping on the carpet. They are a couple of years old, so they aren't great layers, but I'm having a lot of fun with them and learning quite a bit. I'm glad to start with these as they do have a couple of issues as older and free hens tend to and I like that I can learn how to deal with certain issues with chickens that I'm not expecting a lot from. Mostly, they are pets. I don't feed them much feed. Mostly, they eat kitchen scraps and they free-range in the yard which is chock-full of bugs and lizards. I toss scratch grains out to them in the evenings to get them shut up in the coop for bedtime. I crush their eggshells and feed them back to them. I like to keep a feed pan on the kitchen counter and toss food scraps in it to take out to them. I knew that I would love watching them and that I would love eating their eggs, but nothing prepared me for how truly awesome they are. They take care of all my kitchen scraps! Happily! And they completely weeded and tilled my empty winter garden. One less thing I have to do. I'll have to put bird netting around it when it's planted but for now, I'm happy as a clam. Also, wherever I put the coop gets cleared and fertilized for a new garden in a matter of weeks. They have saved me so much time! I'm loving this. Hoping to learn a lot more from you all! I have been looking for information specific to raising hens in Hawaii because we don't get the cold weather here. I haven't found much useful yet, but I'm learning from friends here who have chickens.