I've had chickens for about 30 years. I have 22 plus one chick, right now; down from about 35, a couple years ago. Breeds I have: 1 Appenzeller Spitzhaben, 3 Light Brahmas, 3 Silver Dorkings, 1 Black Austrolorp, 2 Blue laced Red Wyandottes, Auracanas, 2 Silver Spangled Hamburgs, and other mixed breeds, since I let my hens brood and hatch chicks. I love chickens because they are beautiful, social, intelligent animals. I never kill any of my chickens, letting them live out their lives, naturally. My Appenzeller is almost 10 years old, still lays eggs and is as feisty as ever! I never use lights in the winter because it gives my hens a rest. Once they start laying eggs again, in February, they are amazing. My chickens are very healthy and free-range most of the time. I just had an issue with a Great Horned Owl, though! And, coyotes have taken their toll. My other hobbies are gardening, hiking, and reading. I am an organic farmer, cooking teacher and manager for the Coalition for Healthy School Food, Cook for a Retreat center, and am an Animal Communicator. I've used BYC as a reference many times when I google for chicken issues and decided I want to contribute, also.