Howdy everyone! I'm not necessarily new here, as I've been lurking about for a few years here and there, daydreaming about having chickens in my own backyard. I am finally registering, however, so I am new to you all! I don't know how to introduce myself, except to explain our tale. Here is our story to backyard chickens... Our family are huge supporters of Joel Salatin, which is what prompted us to consider chickens in our city backyard. My husband and I grew up in the city (KCMO), but I spent a lot of time on the farm growing up, and did live on one for a few years in my early teens. While much of my extended family owns farmland and lots of it, they hardly use it! They have cattle and fishin' ponds, but that's about all they use it for. My father had lots of land (we lived in the city though), but only used it for huntin' ground. Growing up, that always confounded me! To my husband's credit, he has one relative who does have a large farm and uses it wisely. I'm jealous! Even though I live in the city today, I have always longed for the country and working a farm to the fullest extent I could handle. I want livestock, a large garden, and an orchard. Our situation does not allow for us to move to the country right now, so I sought to see how I could bring the country to me in the city! Sadly, our city currently does not allow for chickens (yet), but if my neighbors can get away with things a bazillion times more deadly, dangerous, and illegal than chickens, I say, "Who cares?" Lets not count the disease ridden critters that lurk throughout the neighborhood/city, but no one cares about that. I usually play by the rules, but the idea of being a chicken outlaw sounds enticing! Oddly, before I became intrigued with chickens in my own backyard, we had some immigrants living beside and behind us, both whom had chickens. Given their origin, that was normal for them, and we didn't mind at first. Eventually, we did call animal control on them, because they didn't take care of them. They sat in a sealed coop ALL DAY LONG without sunlight, just like factory chickens. Not being very good at speaking their language, I couldn't ask them their reason for it, nor did I want to ask at risk of being misunderstood. (We also worried they had them for "cock fighting".) We didn't say anything until the birds kept getting out and into the road, where people were dodging to miss them, and with several children walking on the sidewalks, I didn't want anyone to get hurt. Mind you, it was hard to call, because I am HUGE on mind your own business and I'll mind mine! In this case, we felt it was necessary. So now I feel like I've shot my own self in the foot. Unfortunately, it's people like that who do not care for their animals, that give the rest of us a bad name. However, with the neighborhood I live in, chickens are the least of people's worries! I don't live in a neighborhood where my neighbors groom their lawns, with a couple exceptions. We figure our old neighbors had the loud rooster to tattle on them, but no one called, except us. So if we kept egg laying hens only, I think we'd be alright. Our new neighbors don't care and would probably be inspired to get their own. With that in mind, we think we're going to bite the bullet and raise some chicks in our backyard! I hope animal control doesn't come get them, but I figure, that's the worst they could do. We want our own egg laying hens! Buying organic eggs from our local farmer and the grocery store is running about $4.50 a dozen! We eat about a dozen eggs per day for our family! That adds up quick, but it's a staple in our house! We are some egg eating fools! (We drink them raw in smoothies, too. My favorite is homemade egg nog with raw milk all year long. Mmmm!) So that is our tale! You can blame Joel Salatin for our willingness to be outlaws! Anyone else Joel Salatin fans? Any other "outlaws" on here who can share some tips? We have had the joy of seeing a family live out the Joel Salatin lifestyle on the country and make a profit from it, enough that it now fully supports their large family. How exciting! We are happy to support them and love going to their farm when we can! Our egg laying adventure won't be so great on our small property, but it's a start. People are getting back in touch with where their food comes from and it's exciting to see that little by little, people are going back to raising/growing their own food. Part of that is out of necessity with the inflation of prices, but even so, it is forcing people to consider how to depend more on their own food than the grocery store. Even some urban dwellers are learning to make a profit from it, which is exciting to see. "Buy Fresh, Buy Local"? I say, "Grow Fresh, Grow Local...in your own backyard and make profit, if you desire." With what you cannot do in your own yard, then you can "buy fresh, buy local". Sorry I wrote so much, but maybe that will be inspiration to another lurker out there! Nice to "meet" ya'll! I look forward to going on this small adventure with ya'll! Be patient with me...huge learning curve ahead! I've written enough.