Hi everyone!!! It's officially been a year today since I joined BYC. And what a fantastic year it's been!! I never did "officially" introduce myself and I figure if I don't get it done tonight...well, I think it's time I get it done. So here it goes... I grew up with my grandparents on their small farm and that's where my love of animals started. They had cattle, pigs, chickens, and turkeys. We had guineas for a couple of years and geese and ducks for one season. I always had goldfish, budgies and rabbits. I wanted to farm or become a vet. I met my husband when I was still in high school; we've been together for 26 years and haven't looked back. We have one teenage son. We farm full time; both grain and cattle. I've always been the "on farm" vet to deal with all the nasty/gruesome stuff. We had chickens when we first got married. We got into Katahdin sheep in '98. I've done the showing thing and I was on our Canadian sheep board in various positions for 16 years. I've worked at and did the production records for a hog production facility for half a decade. And I've been a school bus driver for the last decade. A couple of years ago I had major back issues surface in the fall. I didn't think anything of it at first with all the sitting I was doing while combining. By the time I acknowledged something serious was wrong, I'd lost control and feeling from the knee down in my right leg. It took an entire month before I could sit down with the pain and 5 more months before I could sit and ride in a vehicle. It's taken 4 years to get where I am now, managing the injuries and pain by making major changes in my lifestyle and altering what I do. The doctors have figured out that I've got degenerative changes; diffused bulging disks, spondylolisthesis (one vertebrae is trying to fall off another), advanced stages of osteoarthritis for my age and inflammation from everything causing the spinal stenosis that affects my legs. So I've had to scratch many of the things I once did and change to easier things and lighter loads. (Cue the chickens) I started studying nail art. I've found that very rewarding. So far I've kept it as a hobby. Then last year, I got the idea to get a few chickens for yard candy to just look at. I had no real purpose in mind. Chickens and chicken chores are light enough for me to handle so it's a win-win. We got 14 chickens from a lovely couple. Two weeks in they were predated and we were left with 5 chickens; 2 hens and 3 roosters and dozens of eggs. I stumbled onto videos making incubators on You Tube and decided to make one. By the time the incubator was done the eggs were old...but I managed to hatch 3 of the original eggs and 4 from the two hens that were left. I was hooked!! My passion is genetics. I added more chicks and have been hatching all year long. I've leaned to trap. Here I am a year later "obsessing" over my chickens. (How does the site know so accurately where we're at with our flocks???) Here's a few pics of a my chickens. (The ones that weren't camera shy...lol!) BYC is a fantastic place with amazing people! I'm honored to be a part of it.