Hello Everyone, I have spent the last 2 days exploring this site. First I was enamored with all the beautiful coops, and then trying to join and navigated the rest of the site. It is quite a wonderful website. I don't yet have any chickens. The plan is for silkies and americanas and araucanas if I can find them locally. These are the 3 I have always liked and have admired them for many years. I don't have the chicken-raising bug yet but I am deliberately tempering my enthusiasm so I am not overwhelmed! I like the silkies because they look like an "angora chicken" as I am essentially a "fluff" person. I have raised angora rabbits for 20+ years, and spin the fiber and create wearables & collectibles as a fiber artist. So with all the trimmings that go with this endeavor of animal to finished product, I have had lots of things on the go over the years, but with the hope of a fiber farm when I retired. So now I am there. I have just last summer got my newest additions of Babydoll miniature lambs, colored angora goat kids and a couple of llama guards including a suri. I managed to get the pens and the shelters done for them in time for winter and we are getting through this severely cold Manitoba winter quite well. Oh yes to get the seed $ to pay for this expansion, I have been raising butterfly larva and in the spring for the past few years I do metamorphosis kits & school presentations. I am an educator by profession so this keeps me in touch with that world but it has a short time frame so can get on with my fiber frenzy! The hope is to open my fiber farm for tours this summer with the animals, exhibits and demonstrations. Well my friend raises chickens and occasionally I have come across some reference to the silkies. The other day someone on one of my lists someone posted about her hobby of raising silkies and so the discussion got my interest peaked and I began a search for more information. I could not believe all the colors they now have. Well before I knew it the wheels stared turning and I thought I should have a couple of these gorgeous little birds to include in this new venture. And besides I could have some eggs to eat when I go broke trying to make it all come together ! Right!? So here it is the middle of a very cold Mb winter and I managed to find a silkie rooster for sale. I am going to see it on Tuesday. Now I have heard that even the roosters will brood and lay on the eggs. So thought that might be a place to start, though probably won't bring him home till it warms up a bit. Computers are a very bad thing to have -- they connect us -- for better or worse -- with the whole big world out there and is a sure remedy for cabin fever! Oh those beautiful birds and the cute little coops! Just viewing and pondering has the wheels moving... So in looking over all those great ideas I have decided if I go for this, that I want something that moves around in the summertime, but also need something warm and cozy for winter -- so not great to move around! I think I have figured out how I might do this, thanks to all those great ideas there. I am not a carpender ands so can't built it but could do renos, & have an outdoor rabbit hutch that is not in use, as well as what looks like a solid doll house converted to a pet house of some kind. My sister found and hauled it home and gave to me as a recycling project. So both of these will make nice small tractor coops for summer. I also have a walk in fridge that I moved here and used as temporary housing for a few rabbits while I was in transition, before the new rabbitry got set up. Right now it is storage. But it is a fair size at 8 x 10, insulated & wired even with a fan and a big window. So with a few modifations and prettying up it might make a fine winter coop. Now I don't know anything much about chickens, although in a past life I had an interest in budgies, had one that could say 50 different things and tried raising them from eggs-- albeit unsuccessfully! I guess that was why I moved on to rabbits lol (oh yes and did raise maltese dogs for awhile.. another story..) At one time when working with kids, one year I rented a rabbit and another year a pair of ducks from local farmers in the springtime! So if this project with the fancy chickens goes well, I might expand the butterfly school program to a "rent a fancy pet chicken to brood & hatch eggs..." lol ... always something new to learn and explore for an educator! So that is my story. I'm looking forward to lots of interesting ideas from this site, at least before I get toooooo busy! Regards, Dianne in Gimli Mb.