Greeting all from Seattle. In the past several months I have learned that many of my co-workers have chickens, one in particular I chat with often. I was curious, love animals and fresh eggs, so...we (well, I persuaded "we") decided to get chickens about 7 weeks ago. I picked my friend's brain for preparation and researched everything I could about how to proceed. One of the resources recommended to me was BackYardChickens.com (yea!) We scouted out the local resources and found some batches due in at a feed store in Issaquah on May 20. After learning about all of the breeds available, we chose a variety with different appearances and egg colors. We built a brooder with a super heavy duty lid, just in case the racoons managed to pick the lock to the tool shed (my concern for safety is perhaps excessive). We arrived Saturday morning at the feed store to find our well planned choices of 4 breeds to be shattered, as they were down to only 5 of about 20 breeds they had. Of course there was only Ameraucanas left of the ones we decided and 4 that we didn't research. So we did some last minute phone-net searching and picked out 2 Ameraucanas, 1 Black Andalusian, 1 Golden Hamburg and 1 Golden Lakenvelder. On the way home I realized that aside from the Ameraucanas, all of the others laid white eggs. realizing that we couldn't possibly live without brown eggs, I called another feed store and they had Silver Wyandottes, so we swung by there and picked up the last one. We tended our new babies carefully, fearing the worst at every turn. Somehow, they all have survived and only in the last couple of days has a problem arisen (feather picking). I built them a larger brooder box until we finish the coop/run we are building as an addition to the tool shed (how is it that I always envision it taking 2 weekends and we're only half way done 4 weeks later?) We have finally named them all: Eva (the Hamburg), Mirabella (the Andalusian), Helen (the Wyandotte), Goldie (the Lakenvelder), Bertie and Gertie (the Ameraucanas). Along the way, I have shown thema few times to our dog, Maggie, a terrier/lab mix. She is curious and plays intersted, but restrained, however, I know she will eat them if she gets a chance. We planted a small vegetable garden around the same time we brought home the chicks. We plan to build a triple compost bin after the coop/run project so we can use the chicken manure for compost for the garden. That's our chicken story...so far...thanks for having an awesome website and forum.