Hi everyone, I just realized how very much I love chickens. Yes, I admit, I took a bunch of cold medicine earlier and I am feeling a little goofy and sentimental. But I really, truly do love chickens, even though I've only been raising them since last July. I love that my beautiful chicken coop was lovingly made by both me and parents (who live 3,000 miles away, and helped me during their vacation). I love that we drove to the feed store and were totally treated like the dumb city slickers we are when we picked up our 2 little pullets. I love that one of those pullets started crowing at 5 months of age. That led to a re-housing attempt of epic proportions, via the internet and newspaper and word of mouth. We also met all of our neighbors on the block, as we delivered cookies and personal apologies for the 5am crowing. I love the woman who adopted our rooster. Oh, how I love that woman, even though she now regrets her decision because the rooster attacks her children. Oops. I love the 8-year-old feral hen that one of my co-workers gave me as a companion for my (actual) hen after the roo was adopted. That bird is an unknown mix of breeds, too old to lay, hates my guts, screeches at every stimulus, and has one ugly little head. But I love her anyway. I love that my Ameraucana hen laid her first egg last Sunday, and four more since. I even love that she laid one egg with a very rubbery shell (yes I bought oyster shell) and it was really gross and fascinating. I love that I gave most of her eggs to my neighbors today, who were really happy and grateful. I love that I talk about my chickens to my friends non-stop, while they yammer about their kids non-stop (yawn). I love that this message forum is genuinely the most kind assembly of people that I have ever witnessed on the internet. And I love that while everyone here adores their chickens, most aren't afraid to mercifully cull them if they have to. This is an approach to livestock that I never understood before - how can you love something, but kill/eat it? I understand it now. I love how having chickens has made me appreciate BIRDS. In the past, I never really noticed them. Now, they are beautiful creatures who have distinct personalities. I bought my first ornithology field guide today. I love that my chickens lay on their sides in the sun, make tons of poop, and give me the evil eye on a regular basis. I LOVE MY CHICKENS!!