Hello everyone! I am totally stoked to be here. I am planning to begin a backyard farm when I move to New Mexico. The great thing about 98% of the towns in New Mexico is that they have many back yard farmers. In many places there are no restrictions at all. In the more concentrated cities the maximum is 25 chicks. Although my family raised chickens for many years, I realize that I know nothing about raising my own chickens. This is why I am so grateful for this site. I have a story that may make you laugh, but at the very least, it will let you know the type of person I am. When I was growing up, we would buy chicks in the early Spring. This would insure that the chicks were warm enough, and by the winter would be hearty enough to withstand winter with the other chickens. In my father's wisdom, we bought straight run chicks. In one particular run we ended up with a white giant rooster, who was the biggest coward of all. When there would be a thunder storm, he would cause such a commotion that he would stress out the other chickens. There were many stormy nights when we would run to the coop to rid it of predators, only to find this bird in the middle of the floor flapping and flopping around on the floor making an awful racket. I was told to get him and bring him in the house, so I did. When the storm was over, I would return him to the run with the other chickens. It became routine to see a storm approaching, go into the roost get this rooster that was big enough to be a turnkey, and bring him into the house. About two years later, I went out to clean out the roost. While I was cleaning the roost, there were some chickens around my feet (this was normal for me) This time was different When I would reach into the roost to pull out the old bedding, I would get pecked on the top of my boot. I would take my arms out of the roost and look down, but the pecking stopped. So in I would go again and I would get pecked on the foot again. I looked down and this rooster, my rooster, was standing next to my foot. I put my arms in and began to get pecked by that darn bird! So finally I said, "What do you want?" I reached down and petted him and he proceeded to untie my boots. So I tied them and went back to work. Into the roost and peck, peck, peck. Finally I reached down and picked him up. With one hand I cleared out the roost, and with the other I held this bird--and he was content. Later, I began to take him out of the run and he would follow me around the yard. One day my Coward of a rooster was following me to a neighbors coop, (I helped them feed their chickens) and we got cornered by a very mean neighborhood dog. I grabbed my rooster to protect him, but he ran between my legs and attacked the dog. That bird chased the dog all the way back to his property. This was the day that I fell in love with chickens. From that day forward, MY ROOSTER lived in the house with me. I have heard many things about chickens such as they are just dumb birds that are good for eggs and food. But I have to disagree. Because they make great pets as well.