Hello everyone! My name is Ashlee and I live up in Northern California, and I was directed to this forum when I was talking to someone about my future dream to have a small hobby farm. I was further encouraged to join after seeing the amazing articles and information available. To give a little background, when I was younger (9-13 years of age) I was put in charge of the chickens on a farm my mother had moved me too. At the time, I really hated living out in that area, suddenly being pulled from town, friends, and the familiar made me a tiny bit grudgey. I did not, however, take it out on the hens in my care. I would feed them and clean up their coop, collect eggs, turn them loose for a bug hunt in the garden, and find the occassional 'tomato bug' to treat them with. Now, years later I would love nothing more than to have chickens, a garden, and maybe some other poultry/animals as well. The hens I took care of were Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks, which I think I may get, but Buff Orphingtons and Ameraucanas look interesting as well. Fortunately I have time to do a bunch of research as it may be 6 to 24 months before my plans take wing, so to speak. This is due to working on paying off debt and getting my credit score high enough to land a low interest rate loan for a house and property. I would be severely limited if I tried to rent and own chickens so I want to go for the investment of home ownership to start chicken ownership. Anyway! Glad to be here! Hope to learn lots!