Hi. Just taking a few minutes to introduce myself. I've had a mixed flock of 24 layers for a year and a half now. As I had no prior experience with chickens and there are no vets in my area that deal with poultry, I've relied heavily on the internet for information and advice. This is one of my favorite go-to sites and thanks to you all, I've done pretty well with them. I must admit, chicken ranching wasn't something I had ever seen in my future. However, a few years ago, the province reassessed my property tax and changed the status from 'agricultural' to 'market residential'... long story short, here I am. This isn't the easiest place to raise chickens on a budget. I'm just 13 miles from the mountains. In the winter, -40 C temperatures and as little as 7 hours of daylight keep them in the coop from November 'til April. Spring doesn't really start until May (if we're lucky) and minus temps return in September. When the weather permits, the girls spend workdays in their run and I let them out for some yard-time when I get home and on weekends. The area is remote and wild - cougars, bears, eagles, owls, coyotes and completely surrounded by forest - so vigilance is paramount. I love my girls. I find them relaxing. I love watching them free range, moving in unison over the landscape, like a herd of dinosaurs. I love the way they come running for treats when I call, and I love the purring sounds they make when they're all tucked into the coop at night. What else can I say? Chickens are great.