Hey everyone! Last week, I worked with a guy that has back yard chickens. After talking to him at length about it, I discussed it with The Boss (you know... She Who Must Be Obeyed). She was generally OK with the idea, but we have a few questions/concerns we need to work out before making the jump... First, we have a family member that needs to be considered. 15 years ago, my wife and I bought an Umbrella Cockatoo that we consider to be our oldest child; he is truly a member of the family, and is treated as such. Our concern here is the possibility of him getting sick from any chicken-borne illnesses. Second is our climate. We live fairly close to Las Vegas, Nevada in the desert southwest. Summers here are *hot*! We will start hitting over 100 degrees in the first week of June, and we won't get out of triple digit temperatures until the first week of September. Winters are generally mild, with a few weeks in January seeing over night lows in the high teens. Humidity is very low year round. So with those concerns in mind, we are currently looking at starting with 3 (4 if my five year old daughter has any say in the matter) Buff Orpingtons. I see in the review section that BO's are listed in the "All Climate" category, but am wondering if the desert southwest heat is really considered in that rating. Temperatures over 100 degrees with direct hot sunlight are tough on the hardiest of creatures... I'm already concerned for chickens I don't even have yet! Would BO's be OK here in the desert heat? Every spring, I take my kids to the local IFA store so they can see/handle/play with the rabbits and baby chicks. Last year, my daughter was absolutely thunder struck by the baby chicks. This post is in preparation for this year's visit; I just don't know if the wife and I can say "NO!" to her again this year... I've been pouring over this site for hours upon hours now, and am impressed by the knowledge to be found here. Hopefully I'll find more information about the above concerns as I continue my reading of these pages, but if anyone here can help a guy out with a response, it would be truly appreciated!