Hi, all! I've been lurking here on and off since I got my first chickens three years ago. Now that I have new chicks on the way (in June) , I thought it was high time I joined up. Right now I have two Buff Orpingtons, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 1 Black Australorp , three sex links of some sort, and two Partridge Cochins . I love all my chickens to bits but I just adore Cochins. I've learned almost everything I know about chickens from this forum, so a big thank you to everyone for being so helpful. Hopefully I can give something back now! Other things about me: I taught elementary grades at our Mennonite school here in Central VA for nine years. Now I'm in college studying for a degree in Special Ed. I have a twelve year lovebird, Nicky, and a black Miniature Schnauzer, Piper, who loves to "help" me take care of the chickens. (Piper's actually male -- apparently I'm the only person in the world who thinks Piper should be a boy's name, as I discovered after I named him!) Oh, and ironically enough, I'm allergic to eggs . My parents eat as many eggs as they can, and we try to sell the rest. We really keep the chickens for compost for the garden. Nice to meet you all! Edited to try to get smilies to work!