Greetings from Northwest Georgia in the US. What I have here is a small piece of foothill property with a modified Earthship, off the grid, solar everything. Most everything built/made from re-used or recycled materials. The property, which will be expanding soon if all goes well, goes by the name of the Anchorage, and the house is known as Dexter. My one adult male bird likes to be called Wooster. A dozen or more experiments are ongoing at any one time, several of which involve chickens. The place, naturally a mess at the moment, could be described as an Appropriate Technology Experiment Station and Activist Collective (although at this early stage I am the only permanent human resident). I am a Left-Over, a child of the 60's, a Cancer and PTSD survivor, father and grandfather. Engineering graduate of the University of Florida ('75 BS in Engineering Science) and Georgia Tech ('88 Masters in Electrical Engineering). Born in Canada, Raised in Florida. I regard technology, including agrarian technology, as inherently integrated and holistic, but as artifically fragmented and departmentalized by post modern society and science. My mission here is to reverse this dead-end trend in an embryonic way. For example, bird eggs have two semi-permeable membranes which have anti-biotic properties and can be used for the treatment of wounds, yet we thrown these materials away. The shells themselves are porous, providing gas exchange so the growing chick can "breathe". A blown chicken egg, with some further research and experimentation, can probably be used as an inexpensive fuel cell gas exchange barrier for the production of electricity from hydrogen (generated here from solar electrolysis). My most immediate project involving chickens is cull rescue and caponizing. North Georgia has Mass Quantities of chicken houses managed by local good ole boys and girls for big agribusiness. Every day these managers cull birds that don't conform to the requirements of factory meat production, and are disposed of, often in the most horrible of ways. While the legality is questionable and will be researched elsewhere, these culled chicks, alive and dead, are freely available for the taking, if the farm manager is friendly and willing. I don't want responses to these questions here. I just want to give an idea of my general approach, and will start threads elsewhere on this site for deeper discussions. The dead culls are used for educational dissection, including learning to caponize, and are then processed for pet/livestock feed, and/or composted. The live culled hens are restored to physical and emotional health to the extent possible, and will be layers and pot-birds. The culled live roosters will mostly be caponized, when I learn how to do it. Excess live culls, after rehabilitation, will be donated to responsible and needy adoptors. I have never heard of anyone engaging in this type of rescue/appropriate use project, and expect there will be others on this site as excited about it as I am. As with all new ideas there will be unexpected pitfalls. Since I'm new to BYC, I just wanted to mention these specific immediate projects for which I will later start separate threads for deeper discussion. For caponizing, I find I really need someone who does it expertly who wouldn't mind me looking over their shoulder, and who lives somewhere close by. Pictures and written procedures just don't cut it with me.