Hello Everyone! I've been gleaning information from the multitude of posts here in preparation for starting my adventure into the world of raising chickens, and now that I have my chicks I just want to say thanks to all of you for supplying so much invaluable information. I'm a complete newbie to the chicken-keeping world, and though my husband had experience as a child, his family's approach was much different than what I want to pursue. I'm raising my new feathered friends primarily for eggs, then pets, then meat, and look forward to enjoying my evolving relationship with these wonderful creatures. Right now I'm enjoying three breeds of chicken for my starters: - My four Australorps are 4-5 weeks old and last night was the first night I left them in the coop all night after spending several days acclimating them to being outdoors for increasingly extensive periods of time. I'm thrill to say that after a somewhat sleepless night, I found them happy, active, and affectionate when I visited them this morning. Luckily our temperatures are still quite mild, in the upper 70s and lower 80s in the daytime and mid-50s in the night, so there was no need to worry about freezing temperatures or anything. All four have proven to be very friendly, intelligent, and wonderfully curious in very entertaining ways. - In my brooder I have three Barred Rocks that are just over 1 week old. These little chicks are quickly becoming my favorites with their lively and friendly personalities. They come to me by name, snuggle affectionately, and seem positively fearless and yet still so very sweet. - Also in my brooder I have three Buff Silkies...gender completely unknown...who are roughly 2 weeks old. One of the Silkies is already tolerant of handling and somewhat affectionate, one is exceptionally lively and really quite chatty, and one really wants nothing to do with me other than accepting food. I'm a bit surprised by how standoffish these chicks have been compared to the others, but I'm reserving judgement until they grow a bit older. My biggest problem right now is restraining myself from buying too many chickens, because I absolutely love them and there are still several breeds I'm interested in acquiring. Perhaps in the future I will have an opportunity to acquire more, but for now I'm simply enjoying learning, growing and interacting with these wonderful creatures. Anyways, thanks again. I look forward to enjoying discussions, photos and information with all of you.