Hello everyone. I've been a chicken "mom" for about 6 years. I've had flocks as large as 47 and currently have 3 hens and a rooster. I don't breed...I buy hatched. I've gotten pretty good at sexing my preferred breed over the years. I have owned Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, Jersey Giants, Rockets...and I have a real preference for Buff Orpingtons. I just love them... they're so cuddly. I cull my flock when they stop producing. The hardest thing I've learned I can do. They're an excellent table bird and pretty good layers as well. And I've learned a lot of the years...but have still have surprises pop up now and again and need the advise of those who have more experience. And I am grateful for it. This year, I've decided to make a home goods business (veggies, herbs, cheeses, eggs of course, and flowers) and I hope to get some perspective from those who have also turned hobby to business. I'm an avid gardener. I love to grow herbs, fruits, and plan to landscape in all edibles. We have an acre and a half in rural VA and are hoping to purchase an additional 70 acre parcel next month. My husband is also starting a woodworking business this year. We are both engineering designers for insurance reasons (myself an independent, my husband for a local corporation)...and I am a caretaker for my autistic adult son...one of 5 children. All children are adults except the one in her senior year of high school (though she only has a few months to go). I will never be an empty nester... but as they move away one by one, I find myself with more and more time to enjoy my hobbies. Which is a happy place to be.