Hello everyone... I am really excited to be here and I look forward to all of the experience and knowledge you might be willing to share! My name is Mina and I live on top of a mountain in central PA, about 2100' elevation. We have 250 acres, most of it brush and woodland. We get really cold up here in the winter but it's great in the summer. My husband and I live with our old big dog and our middle-aged little dog, enjoying a little more quiet time as we age. We lived in urban areas for most of our lives so every day in this log home is a dream come true. We don't currently have chickens but that is why I found you- ;-) BYC happened to have a search link regarding different breeds of chickens and that is how I fell into the group. I think you will all be invaluable... There are many reasons I believe chickens would be a wonderful addition to my family but, primarily, I'm very concerned over our growing infestation with ticks around here, something I understand will be a very happy surprise for any hen I give a home to. I also would enjoy a few colored eggs here or there but quantity is irrelevant since there are only 2 of us. Mostly, I am an avid animal lover and I would like to get chickens whose personalities include enjoying being close to people and who will do well with one another. I intend to keep them for life and spoil them rotten so that might make a difference in who I would choose. I love the unusual looks of the Polish, the Brahmas, and others who don't conform to the average chicken picture you saw in school. So, right now, my biggest focus is on finding the "right" chickens to fill our family. The next step (or maybe the first step, I have no idea) is to determine what type of coop they will do best in, considering the strong winters and lots of wildlife predation possibilities. I want to keep them safe and let them run around during the day, as weather allows, and then sleep safely at night, keeping them as healthy as it's possible to do. I guess I also need to figure out the best number of hens to have so they are kept as well as I can. There are SO many informational offerings that it seems overwhelming. I will be grateful for any help I can receive here!