Hi there! I've been learning about sustainable living, and have been starting to do my real research on chickens here more recently. I live on five acres on the bank of the Suwannee River in North Florida. It's not as lovely as it sounds. Lol. There's about 2 acres of swamp between our house and the river itself, the soil is absolutely *terrible*, and the mosquitos...OMG...the mosquitos! I'm a 30 yr old single, childless female (happily), who (unhappily) after getting laid off from work, now lives with her parents on five acres in the woods (happly). I'm about to start my second year in Full Sail University's Computer Animation Bachelors of Science program. I am still unemployed after two years, and none too happy about it. There is NO work here at all.I've even tried fast food, which I told myself I would NEVER do. NObody's hiring. So, having lots of space, and (depending on class load) a fair amount of free time, and a *very* strong motivation to find ways to save money and learn methods of self-support completely independant from outside resources, I started my journey last year by trying out a limited veggie garden. I did ok, I guess. lol. For a newb. This year will be much better. The soil here is terrible, so I'll be doing raised beds this year, and I'll be purchasing heirloom seeds of strains known to do well in this area (as opposed to mass-produced hybrid seeds that can be very needy of extra fertalizing and special conditions. I'm trying to learn to sustain myself without the use of manufactured products. Chemical, biological or whatever. No fertalizers, no commercial potting soil mixes, no specially bred-for-production animals or plants, etc. This year I'm planning on aquiring a flock of chickens, mostly for eggs, but potentially for meat as well, though I'm not 100% sure I could handle that yet, not that I'm a stranger to death or killing, I've worked with animals in many different situations all my life, I somehow still have this weird issue with eating something I actually saw die or being slaughtered. Anyway, I've visited this site tons of times in the last few months and decided I might as well go ahead and join. I'm looking forward to learning from all of you here!