Hey there y'all! I signed up for BYC after lurking for a while and learning a lot. Once we decided to build a permanent coop, I decided it was time to join a community of chicken lovers, where I could learn and get accurate information to be a more responsible and productive chicken owner. I'm the manager of a large hunting and cattle ranch but I've only recently gotten an interest in chickens. We live on 24 acres near the ranch and have plenty of room for our birds to range. We started with 3 NH Reds and 3 Wynadottes but we're down to 1 red and 2 Wynadottes, due to predators. As a professional predator hunter, that's a little embarrassing but, by the time we realized we had a problem, we had already lost 3 birds. I've more than evened the score since. Lol! Anyway, we learned a lesson and we'll be much more prepared by the time we buy some more chicks in the spring. Our ultimate goal is to have 6-8 layers and some meat birds; and to try and get away from buying ANY chicken products in the grocery store. We already buy virtually NO red meat, living primarily off wild game; so raising chickens seemed like the natural progression. I really appreciate the forum and hope to learn a lot!