Hi there! I had some pet chickens as a kid and helped raise some meat chickens on a farm back home in Colorado when I was in college....but I think I have forgotten more than I ever knew about chickens! So, HELLO! I have been reading the Storey book on chickens and actually found a supplier here in Florida to get day old chicks mailed to me. Hubby and I are building a brooder this weekend and we should be starting with 15 Barred Rock (hubby's choice for his flies) and 15 Orpington (my choice) pullets. We'll select 3-5 layers to keep and the rest...well..... We are both recent military veterans that are happily enjoying civilian life again on our cattle farm. I run the farm and stay home with our infant son while hubby works in town. I am also working on finishing my Master's in molecular biology. We're hoping to raise these chicks and get them settled into their soon-to-be-built 10X10 coop and ample runs before getting a batch of keets to raise for tick and fire ant (???) control. We plan to let the keets will roost in the trees vice cooped up. When we bought this place, we inherited two ancient guinea cocks that patrolled until they couldn't make it up to the trees any more. It did seem like there were less fire ant mounds with them around but I'm not sure if we can count on them for fire ant control. Someone else said turkeys will eat fire ants. Has this topic been discussed here? Anyway, I am happy to have discovered this site. It's been very helpful already. Incidentally, my brother up in Virginia is getting into chickens. Maybe he can join, too!