Hello! Growing up in my family in Missouri, we've always had more than our share of pets. Gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, fish, cats, dogs, ferrets, and parakeets; if you could get it at a pet store, we had them! My grandmother had a farm, and then my aunt purchased one as well when she retired. But since I moved out and married 10 years ago, rentals have kept my personal pet population to a pair of shy, but sweet, guinea pigs and a large tank of fish. We plan on purchasing a house of our own in the next year or so, and the first thing I want to add to our family is a small flock of chickens! I'm mostly interested in raising hens for eggs, but my husband has voiced interest in raising a few meat birds as well. I suppose it all depends on how much property we can afford when we finally get around to house shopping. My interest in raising chickens was stirred when I started looking into better ways of home gardening, another of my hobbies. I love the idea of a large farm, but I know caring for large acreage would be too much work for my husband and I, so gardening gives me the taste of that dream without as much responsibility. I also enjoy the feeling of self sufficiency and control over my life it brings. I am looking forward to a big garden and now chickens too! I found Backyard Chickens when I started googling advice for raising chickens as a newbie, and this place seems to have a fantastic community where I can learn and connect with people just like me. Like I said above, it's just me, my man, my guinea girls, and a tank of fish. We live in Southeast Michigan. We both enjoy movies, books, video games, and I have a mild fascination with end-of-the-world survival scenarios as well, which my gardening feeds. Ha ha.