Howdy all, My name is Steph in case you didn't figure it out. I am an animal lover and wish I had a large farm, but feeding so many animals would get a bit difficult. I do currently have several animals and this was my first year raising chickens. I also loved raising them! As of right now I have 6 chickens--5 hatched Aug. 8, 2011 and were shipped to me. They were ordered as assorted brown egg layers and suppose to be all females. I also have a mixed breed rooster from a friend. She had too many and couldn't get rid of all of them. I have 2 cats9 month old cats--they were born to stray we took in. Bubba is an orange tabby who was born on my lap, and is a GREAT hunter! His sister is a pretty little calico, but mostly white. She isn't a great hunter, but is very affectionate also love riding in the truck. They are both outside cats, but come in several times a day for some kibble and extra loving. We have a gerbil courtesy of my brother in law who gave her to us when we were in Nashville visiting them. So Coco got to take a 8 hourish drive with 2 dogs to get back to her new home. She isn't social like rats I have had in the past, but she does love to tunnel through shredded paper. Diesel is a Pyrenees mix who will be a year old Christmas eve. He was born to a Pyr we had to give up in Sept due to issues with a neighbor and his lab. She was recently adopted from Winston-Salem Pyrenees rescue--They are a great group!!! Diesel is a lot like his momma, but already bigger than she was. He weighs in at 120lbs and is dark colored. We believe his dad was a German Shepherd mix. We also have a boxer mix named Carmel who came to us underweight. She loves running on our 3 acres with Diesel! She does chase the cats, but they are buddies too. She just thinks it is fun to chase them. She has put on a good bit of muscle tone and is holding steady at just under 60lbs. I had 15 meat chickens up until a few days ago when the last of them were slaughter and froze. I have eaten several and the meat is delicious and tender! I plan to raise more next year! I also had my first 5 laying hens I got from TSC early spring, but unfortunately the issue with the neighbor, his dog and our Pyr turned out not to have been the Pyr's fault. Abbi was let out to patrol at night and she did a great job. We have since figured out that the neighbor, who's sister in law was staying there with her lab, let the lab loose at night as well. Not really an issue, but the lab was harassing the chickens. Abbi took a great disliking to the lab and would run after it and chase it away from our property to the neighbor's carport. They filed a complaint with animal control and then threatened to kill our dogs. Long story short we gave Abbi to the rescue to avoid having any animals killed. Three weeks later the lab got into the chicken pen. I lost my 5 layers, and a beloved pet and guardian--luckily the lab and it's mom have finally moved into their own place. I am going to get more meat chickens in the Spring after my baby boy is born--he is due March 19 and he is my first human baby! I guess maybe I should mention my husband too. He is a wonderful guy, but also a good bit older than me. I am trying to talk him into a pair of turkeys, but that isn't going so well. He has loved the fresh eggs and chicken meat we have had so maybe he will go for it when we get settled into having a newborn. He has 3 kids from a previous marriage so he knows what to expect--unlike me. Well I look forward to getting to know you all.