Hi everyone! My name is Nikki! I come from Long Island but I lived in North Carolina for 7 years before moving to Sweden 3 years ago. Sorry if that was hard to follow, lol! I currently live in Sweden, but plan to move back to the US in another 2 1/2 to 3+ years from now. I currently have 2 boy kitties, a snowshoe and the prettiest brown tabby. I've always loved seeing chickens in fairs on Long Island and on peoples farms everywhere. We raised chicks from eggs once in my class in grade school and also at a library I worked at later in my 20's. I absolutely adored the baby chicks. I figured it's time to join here because I've literally been talking off ANYONE's ears (mom, sister, fiance, people I met on a game on the internet) who will listen to me about chickens for weeks! I've been entertaining the thought of raising backyard chickens for a while now! Don't get me wrong though, I know there's a lot more to it than hatching chicks and cuddling them. I plan to have a nice spacious coop and big run - the best I can get for my money and space that I'll have in my future yard! I'd like to get a small assorted flock of hens, I'm not really too concerned about having the "best egg layers", as much as I am concerned that the breed is known to be sweet and gentle. I won't be culling my old gals when they stop laying consistently, they will always be looked at as pets in my little flock. I don't have anything against other people who cull or anything, more power to you! I love eating chicken, I just wouldn't eat my own chicken! lol Right now I'm leaning towards a small flock of around 4-5 ladies. But I've noticed, even before having a single chicken, just in the process of picking out the breeds I'd like to get, chicken math really does add up! The breeds I'm mostly looking into right now are as follows: Ayam Cemani (so gorgeous), Blue Laced Red Wyandotte (really pretty hens!), Swedish Flower (they come in so many colors and patterns!), Cream Legbar (pretty and those beautiful blue eggs), Blue Ameraucana (again blue eggs, and I LOVE the splash color variation!) Of course I'd have no guarantee of pulling the blue splash color though, could be black, could be blue, lol! I imagine more chicken math will come into play when my Blue Ameraucana doesn't turn out in the right color. I've also really fallen in love with Seramas. From what I've seen they seem to really bond with their caretakers, and I love that they're so tiny! I'd love to keep some in a big chicken/rabbit run in perhaps a screened-in porch, then let them out a bit when I can watch them. They seem more vulnerable to prey since they're so tiny! I'd keep a rooster and some hens if I had those. Those tiny rooster crows are just to die for! I hear they're a bit harder to raise though, than other chickens. Oh well, there's my huge wall of text! I'm really excited to learn more, trying to soak up everything I can about every breed and everything to do with chickens! Nice to meet you!