Hello everyone. 1) Are you new to chickens/when did you first get chickens? I'm very new to chickens, and since I hope to have my first flock within the next year or two, I'm trying to learn as much as I can! My Dad owned chickens, and I've had friends who did chickens, and that's about the extent of my exposure other than library books from the livestock section. 2) How many chickens do you have right now? None. Closest thing are my cockatiels (see Avatar). I am comfortable handling parrots, parakeets, and cockatiels, and hope to transfer those skills to outdoor birds. 3) What breeds do you have? Well, none yet. . I am interested in several, including Black Copper Marans, Wyandottes, Amerucanas, New Hampshires and a few others. Mainly my interest is in Heritage breeds because I have an avid interest in sustainable agriculture. I will make my final selection based upon my situation at the time and what breed best fits into my local area. Meanwhile, it's research, research, research! That's why I joined this forum - I have a lot to learn. 4) How did you find out about BackYardChickens.com? Um... I think that was when I googled for reviews on the Black Copper Marans. When I hit the site I almost did a double take. Wow!!!!! And when I discovered that experiance people posted here... 5) What are some of your other hobbies? *chuckles* Well I could talk all day about that. My major hobbies include traditional Irish music (think pennywhistle & ocarina), writing poetry in the style of the masters, nature photography - especially of clouds and weather phenomena, and bee keeping. 6) Tell us about your family, your other pets, your occupation, and anything else you'd like to share. I have a pretty neat family. I'm the eldest of seven children and have the greatest parents in the world. My parents and I are in business together as music educators, and recently relocated our studio from TX to NC. My Dad and I also had a bee keeping side business in TX (building & selling hives, breeding our own bees, and giving classes). We had to sell our hives for the move, but hope to start it back up this year. My current pets, mentioned above, are a pair of cockatiels named Taralee & Tango. Tango, the male, has a penchant for whistling. I've been trying to teach him "The Imperial March," for weeks now and he's still hopelessly off key! Taralee is extremely sweet and loves to sit on my shoulder - or elbow - when I write or play the whistle. That's about it, I think. My goal in joining this forum is to learn, so I may read more than chat with people, although I plan to ask a lot of questions as I go. I am grateful for this means to expand my knowledge and hope that it will bear fruit in the near future.