Hi guys, I've been lurking on this site for months now... in fact most of what I have learned about chickens I have gotten from here, the rest I learned from a friend, Mike, who I get my chicks from. I am from Sunny Durban on the east coast of South Africa. My decision to get into chickens was purely for a food supply. Back story: there is a lot of concern lately in South Africa, with a lot of the youth wanting to start a civil war for some retarded reason... so most people I know have stockpiled canned food and water... I am stockpiling chickens and veggie seeds... we are setting the house up to be completely off the grid, solar and wind power along with growing our own food. I want to install a borehole pump as well. But it will come. Already, my lighting in the house can run for 4 full days with no power from the grid or even solar or wind energy. Power failures are a big problem here, and sometimes is down for a week or more. Not everywhere in South Africa, but my area is bad. Enough drama. I am 38 years young, and have a wife, Julie, who is 36. We have two beautiful girls aged 3, Emma, and 1, Katie. Then we have the other babies... Penny and Socks, my two pitbull bitches KC a cross bread ***** Leia a jack russel ***** who believes she is a rottweiler My two cats, Zechariah and Mia (boy and girl) My five rats, Mary (mother) and Coco (father) of three girls, Scaredy, Bubbles and Squeek (exact number vary as I am a breeder) My tenrec, Mr Prickles (yes a boy) Emma's bunny rabbit, a dwarf male named Fufu My two snakes, Lasagne and Linguini, both common variety Brown House Snakes, and both female and both VERY big for their species. I also care for a lot of wild spiders that have made nests around the yard and house. One of my girls has recently had her eggs hatch and all the babies blow away in the wind, it was magical to watch. I grew up with lots of animals, and my wife and I agreed that my children will have the same privilege as I had. But unlike all the other animals I have, we didn't go into chickens for companionship... it was a food move. So I went to Mike and got two babies, and they didn't make 24 hours... so did some reading here on BYC and decided, the problem was that two chicks are not enough to huddle for warmth, so I made a better box, and bought five, which grew to massive size. I then had three males, and two females... so we decided, to name the females as they would now be family pets and we would eat their eggs... the males were destined for the braai (pronounced like fry, but with a b- not a f-... South African version of BBQ, but with more meat, phuthu (poo-too... a dish made with maizemeal), chakalaka (pronounced as it's spelt, a spicey veggie mix), lots of salads, and of course, copious amounts of beer and other alcohols... ) Back story: No matter where you go in South Africa, people Braai. Black, white, indian, coloured, we all do it. We live for it... it's the South African way. Long thick sausages known as boerewors (boo-ra-vors), 1 inch thick steaks, whole chickens, lamb chops, the works... we go all out. You can find braais happening everywhere you go... from the wealthy "leafy suburbs" to the poor "squatter camps". The men all gather around the braai and gesels "to talk rubbish and be jovial". The women all sit together and skinner "to talk gossip". We braai at the beach, we braai at the cricket, we braai before and after the rugby, we braai at the park, we braai in the parking lot, we braai at our house, hell, I have even been to a braai that was on a big island in a traffic intersection. Was awesome. Sometimes you will get to a braai, and find the braai not lit. this is usually when the host is Afrikaans. he will tell you "ons sal nou nou braai" (we will braai now-now). This will be repeated, again and again, until most of the beer and brandy is finished... then the host will say, at around 11pm, "kom, nou braai ons" (come, now we braai). At this point they will start the fire, someone will take a drive to a shebeen (24 hour bottle store found in the informal settlements and townships, normally unlicensed) to buy more booze. And that is the story of the braai. Yes, we have a public holiday dedicated to the Braai. It's called Heritage day, and is referred to everyone in South Africa as Braai Day. It's like our Thanks Giving. So that's my story... hope to chat and share with all of you... PS: I am not Zulu, I am actually an English speaking Jewish man. PS2: It is considered a grave crime to put any processed meat on a braai, or even a hamburger patty. The closed to processed meat is wors that must be at least 1 inch thick and 20 inches long. Bangers (short fat sausages) are allowed, but with much offence taken by hardcore braaiers. All other meat must be on the bone, except certain steaks and kebaabs (meat and veg pieces on a stick). We will also wrap spiced and glazed veggies in tin foil and put on the braai, in the coals, and we will also cook garlic bread on the braai.