Alright now that I have that part out of the way here is a bit more of a detailed intro. Last July my wife and I bought a house a bit further out from the city. The move gives me a 2 hour commute one-way each day, but it also gave us nearly 2 acres of land and a house large enough for us to pursue our idea of becoming as self-sufficient as possible. The reality is I have no plans to quit my job, because I somehow have to pay for the house, so self-sufficiency to us (at least right now) means supplying as much of our own food as possible and building on that. Our initial plans were simply for vegetable and fruit, but last spring on a trip into Tractor Supply Company we saw their spring chicks and my wife fell in love. Since the home we brought was a foreclosure and required quite a bit of work (new well, septic, kitchen, flooring, new AC electric, etc.) I nixed the idea of raising chickens almost immediately. I knew it would be too big of an undertaking with everything else that absolutely needed to be done, afterall this is a process. I left the door open by saying let us think on it and if this is something we still want to do in a few months we can begin planning to introduce chickens into our lives in a year or two. Ten months after we moved into the house (we bought it in July, but did not move in till December) and about six months after first discussing chickens I believe we are more interested today than we were originally which means I am now deep in my planning stages. By the way, I am an engineer so I definitely plan and research. I can adapt well and am not against spontenaity, but I do believe chances of success are much higher when thought through and planned properly. I have been trolling these boards for a few months now and I see the immense amount of knowledge and experience available here so I have finally joined so I can ask specific questions, gain specific knowledge and bounce ideas around the members. Hopefully I will eventually become a resource to new members just as I am sure you veterans will be to me.