Hello everyone, My name is Sharon. My husband Bob and I are retired, and live in Southern California. I owned 5 chickens years ago, back in the early 80's, but divorce, relocations, jobs, and life got in the way and have been "chickenless" since then. Never lost my love for them though, and ever since our next door neighbors added a small flock of 3 or 4 beautiful ladies....have been longing to add 2 or 3 to our family. I'll tell you something about me that I think you may have heard before from others. I thought I was a bit of a nut. When I had those chickens all those years ago, I could sit and watch them for hours. I loved their sounds...coos and cackles when a happy lady announced the arrival of potential prodigy. My wonderful breakfasts ...I really thought I was a bit strange. This looks like a very nice forum. I am familiar with forums, as I have other hobbys and enjoy sharing experiences, learning. I may be a bit quiet at first. I am no expert and atm, have no coop or chickens. We do have a very old standard poodle, Rio. 15, very arthretic and not long to be with us, and 2 cats. Yea, killer cats too....there is a not-used schoolyard behind our yard, and so far between the two they've killed roughly 20+ gophers. They have pestered the neighbor's chickens....one of their ladys jumped into our yard over the 5 1/2' fence....the cats go up to them, but the ladies are big enough to frighten them, so no real worries there. Our neighborhood also supports a hawk family. Obviously, I need to research and plan carefully. Bob is a very good amateur woodworker/builder, so I need to convince him to make me a fabulous, albiet small, coop. He's a sweetie....that won't be hard. I like what I see in the Americana....I think I spelled that wrong but you know what I mean. I want to take time and choose wisely, just want 2-3 birds. I look forward to reading and learning. Sharon.