Hi everyone! I have been a 'lurker' on BYC since July, and have finally decided to join this wonderful community! I have been trying to talk my husband into getting a few hens for over a year, and well...I was finally successful! So now it is my mission to arm myself with as much knowledge as possible before we embark on our 'chicken journey' this spring! We live on 40 acres in the country, but we are thinking of starting out with just a couple hens to see how it goes. I have been looking into breeds and have fallen in love with Orpingtons since it seems to be a universal consensus that they have a sweet nature (we want decent layers with a gentle personality). We have been looking at different coops on amazon and trying to decide of we want a kit to start out with or of building would be a better idea. I live in northern Wisconsin and would love to hear from anyone on similar climates for advice on wintering their chickens (that is my one worry, it gets so cold here!). I'm looking forward to learning much from you all here at BYC!