Hello All!! I'm Stephanie, I don't have chickens.... YET! I've been a career lurker in these forums, and the site, for about a year but haven't joined until today, WOOHOO! My husband Tadd and I live in Wisconsin, with our 6 year old son, Dane. We have 1 acre of land in a little neighborhood development that's surrounded by farm land. We're about 20 minutes away from St. Paul, MN- so rural, but still considered a suburb of the twin cities. Next summer I hope have a coop and run set up to house 4-6 hens (No boys allowed!) and raise them for both eggs and pets. Raising them for meat is still up for debate in our house. I wouldn't mind a couple wycandottes (sp?) the ones with feathers that look like fishnet stockings! LOL! Absolutely gorgeous! Pretty feathers aside, I need birds that are cold hardy, decent layers, and friendly. Bonus points for being good foragers. I have empty lots both beside and behind my house that I'd probably allow some supervised foraging on. My biggest reservations with this new undertaking is the actual medical care of the birds and making sure they are comfortable during the winter. I'm very much sold on the deep litter method for inside the coop because I know that helps with heat, but without running power I'm not sure what else to do. (Hubby refuses to allow power in the coop for fire safety reasons.) Anywho, that's me in a nutshell. I work full time as an Estimator and am a part time student earning an associates in IT online. In my ever elusive free time I scrapbook, attempt gardening and canning, create stained glass, and occasionally hold down the couch to read a book. Hope to you all around!