Hi All, I'm new to chickens - at least to raising them myself. My father grew up on a farm, but he took a different career path after university, so my siblings and I grew up as city folk. Many of our relatives did have farms, though, and whenever we visited, one of my favourite things to do was hang out with the chickens. Every year for the past 20 years I have asked my DH "Can we raise some chickens?" and every year the answer has been a resounding "no". Then last autumn, suddenly the answer was "yes"! I was momentarily stunned, then elated: a chance to go back to [my] roots! So I got to work finding out as much as I could about keeping chickens: borrowing books from the library, surfing the Internet, etc. When I came upon the backyardchickens.com web site, I was thrilled. So much invaluable information on how to start and maintain an healthy flock, and so many like-minded people who are crazy about chickens! I've learned so much already, but know I have much more to find out. My husband and I live in a rural village on a 1/3 acre lot with our mixed breed dog. We hope to raise 3-5 chickens, and have narrowed down the list of breeds that would be suitable for us in our environment: Australorp, Faverolles, Ameraucana and Chantecler. Our immediate neighbours are fine with us having chooks, as long as we don't have roosters. Hopefully we won't have to deal with that eventuality, but if we do have to, I hope we will be able to re-home rather than dispatch. We have spent the winter finalizing our coop design, and work on that will start this week. We have also located local sources for feed and supplies, and hope to be all set up for our first flock of young pullets in the next few weeks. We are really looking forward to raising our backyard chooks, and happy to join the backyard chickens community!