I've been lurking for a while, reading and laughing at all the crazy chicken antics and planning for the future ... well, we're finally about to place our first order for chicks, so I figured it was time to sign up! I know I'll have lots of questions. We're ordering mostly Speckled Sussex and a few Ameraucana. I'm really excited about it. We have an old shed (actually built as an outhouse but never used -- currently has a potty right in the middle!) that we're renovating into the coop and will be building an attached run to protect the girls from predators in our back woods. We have two little boys who will be helping take care of the chickens, which is a big reason I picked Speckled Sussex -- everything I could find says they are very gentle and friendly but not too boring, which is perfect for my little guys. And of course, they have good eggs and meat, and they're gorgeous to look at -- what more could we want? The Ameraucanas are more for the novelty factor and being able to sell "extra" eggs to the lady across the street who is a sucker for the colored eggs, but I've read that they are gentle, too. Anyway, thank you all for being here and providing this wonderful service to the world. I didn't know where to start with chickens, and now I do, thanks to hours of reading right here on BYC. But I have a lot to learn, so I'm sticking around.