Hi, Everybody! We moved home to my Dad's pecan farm in SW Tennessee in April of last year. I had to leave my flock in Washington state, we didn't have any way to transport the girls and Edwin. I had Buff Orps, Barred Rocks (Edwin and one hen), and Rhode Island Reds. I miss them, especially Ella the Crazy!! So this year we're getting our layers' chicken coop, run and yard built for spring's hatching. We're extremely lucky. We have an area of about 1/2 acre for our poultry (which will include meat chooks, guineas and ducks later.) It's fenced, but not with chicken wire so we're going to have to add that with strands of electric fence plus a dig barrier and poultry netting overhead (LOTS of predators: coyotes, raccoons, possums, raptors). Of course we left our coop in Washington so we'll build another one. I'm looking at 8' x 8' because we'll eventually have up to 20 birds. Our climate here in SW Tennessee is scorching hot in the summer (multiple runs of >100F days), and moderate winters (30s) with cold snaps into the 20s and even the teens (rarely). We're going to sell our eggs so I want brown eggs because your average person thinks they're better for you, LOL. I want Welsummers for sure. Hubby loves the Barred Rocks, so I'm going to get him a couple of chicks. (I have no experience with incubating eggs or I'd participate in the egg swap!). I'm also looking at Brahamas, Turkens, or Delawares. We're only going to start with 6 layers this year, so 2 Welsummers + 2 Barred Rocks leaves only 2 slots. I'm looking for very heat-tolerant birds that are excellent layers of brown average- to above-average-sized eggs with docile/calm disposition who like to forage. I think that's a tall order so I'm open to breed suggestions! We are in the process of scraping the entire poultry yard down to dirt. It's full of God-knows-what weeds, and we do have native plants that are poisonous to the chooks. We'll be planting grass, clover, a lettuce/greens bed, flowers and perennial herbs for the girls to munch on. Fortunately we have bitter dock all over too, and scraping won't kill those since their tap roots are up to 2' deep! I'm also going to build a soldier fly larvae collector for the girls' extra protein. We're planning to grow some grain for them, too because we have plenty of room. Can you tell I'm trying to reduce my feed costs to as close to $0 as I can?? I've found some amazing things in my poultry research. I don't have a poultry blog yet but I've pinned a lot of the interesting things at my board, "Hens Teeth" at http://pinterest.com/mphsgal/. Finally, a little about me: I'm a farm wife with a work-from-home job as well. Happily married to my biker hubby for 16 years. We're learning homesteading and truck farming (wish us luck!). My blogs are "The Occasional Recipe" at http://occasionalrecipe.blogspot.com/, where I literally post a recipe occasionally, and "This n That" at http://thisnthat46.blogspot.com/ which has everything else, including all about learning to homestead and truck garden. Hope you'll check them out!