Hello all! I'm Carol and I live in VA with my hubby Shawn, our 5 children, 2 dogs, and 2 cats. We use to have chickens a few years ago, but ended up giving them away after a couple of years. We kept them for the eggs, and supposedly meat, but when the time came we just couldn't do it. We no longer were using enough eggs to justify keeping the birds and just couldn't kill them, so when we were losing a battle against local nocturnal predators, we gave them away. That was when DH was the sole keeper of the birds. Now I am finally at a place in my life where I can be outside more and I am ecstatic to be able to get out there and take charge! To begin with, we are building a whole new coop in a new location. We live in a log house, so to match we are building a log coop, 14' x 20'. It will be divided into 4 sections so we can keep different birds for different purposes. The house logs were bought, D-cut style logs, but the coop will be more rustic. We are cutting down oaks from around the property and using them for the coop... those suckers are HEAVY! Shawn & I took turns taking a draw knife to the first log last night. He's got a week and a half off from work, starting this Friday, so hopefully we'll get a lot more done... right after he and my dad install the sliding glass doors I've been waiting for! I found the new glass doors (for the house) in the paper. They were from a construction guy that takes home left-overs, so I was also able to get from him 4 crank-windows for our coop! They weren't free, but after buying the doors and windows I still saved about $100! My dad is going to help me build the coop door from wood from our land, so only hardware costs there. The plan so far is to get the foundation done during the next 1 1/2 weeks, and then get the logs up as we get them de-barked, as quickly as we can. I'll probably wait until spring to chink it, using a recipe I found online. Hopefully by then we will have it roofed and have the pens up, and can order the new chicks around the beginning of April. After reading around online, especially threads here, I have decided to go with the deep litter method. I visited Harvey Ussery this weekend, and he was able to give me some pointers there. My eldest daughter and I went out to see him so he could show us how to butcher chickens. I needed to know that I could do it before we really got started this time. He is an incredibly knowledgeable & patient person and a great teacher. We look forward to visiting him again when its time to process our first batch of birds. Anyways, that's me in a nutshell, there's so much more to talk about! I can't wait to jump in here and get started! Oh, btw, I love this smiley -> This is me the majority of the time! LOL ~Carol Oh! Here is a picture of our first 22 ft log that we did yesterday. I'd like to do another tonight, but its raining today, so unless it stops the next log will have to wait.