I have been hovering on this site for several months, watching your beautiful birds survive our very cold winter and learning from all of you! What a treasure trove of information you have been for this newbie! Thank-you for helping us through this past winter and spring! I thought it would be a good idea to finally introduce my gorgeous girls to you and state my future intentions! We got into backyard chicken raising due to my adopted toddler from China eating 2 dozen eggs a week all by herself! I decided that with that kind of appetite for eggs, we might as well raise chickens and have access to that many eggs a week, if not more! On that side of the coin, it has been a success. We acquired a coop and a flock from someone trying to get out of raising chickens. The flock had been severely traumatized and not housed well. We ended up tearing up the coop, building our own, getting rid of over half of the original flock, and buying hatching eggs in November (Thanksgiving to be exact)! Out of our 10 eggs 7 hatched - 3 had significant hatching issues, and one had to be culled (you can see pictures of his malformations on my albums), another little chick got its head stuck in between the lid and the lip of the incubator and died. So, we ended up with 5 total - 2 Light Sussex (the ones who had hatching issues and now live at a friend's home) and 3 gorgeous Lavender Orpington Hens! When those Orps hatched, I was captivated and my interest immediately turned to how can I get some more. This spring I met kittydoc on this forum and she has nicely helped me expand my flock with Black Mix Orps and some more Lavender Orps. We are excited to see some roosters developing! Our intentions are to breed and sell Black and Lavender Orpington hatching eggs and chicks next year. My goal is to go through the NPIP process next spring and make sure we are compliant with the state. We will also be picking up more straight black Orps from a source in Illinois! My husband is requesting an Easter Egger, but we shall see on that one. In the meantime, I learned a bit of a lesson yesterday. One of my pretty lavs was limping and I could see no apparent reason for it. Turns out, I had leg banded them with zip tie number bands. Hers was too tight. Cut it off. Today, she is as good as new. Poor girl. I felt so bad! I have been trying to put in pictures of my pretties, but I cannot seem to get the internet to work today! All my birds are in my albums under my profile! Looking forward to connecting with everyone!