I have been keeping chickens since the summer of 2000 (roughly). My introduction to chicken keeping began quite by accident. The hubby and I were cleaning up the property in preparation to take pics for refinancing, and I kept hearing the cheeping of a little bird. I just went about my business assuming it was a wild baby excited by a parent returning with food. Near dusk, when we were wrapping up, I finally decided to go investigate. On the other side of the road from my five acres I found him...this cute little "egg with leggs!" I'm pretty sure that he escaped from a neighbor who raised fighting roosters. I named him Lucky since he had managed, in spite of all his peeping, to survive the whole day without being eaten. The next day I called my local feed store to ask if there was something wrong with him because he seemed to be growing a "tumor" on his neck. Imagine my embarrassment when I was informed that this "tumor" was his crop! He cried piteously every time I had to leave for work, so we went and got him some little friends and they lived in my front room until we finished building their new home. I lost my Lucky bird about two years later to a bobcat attack. He gave his life trying to protect his harem. I also lost another hen and my Red bird suffered some damage to her head...she was blowing bubbles out of her eye and had a couple of deep cuts. I brought her in the house with little hope that she would survive, but she pulled through and became a part-time house chicken. I was holding her in my arms when she breathed her last several years later. Over the next couple of years I added a few here and a few there. While I was working at a local bank I was befriended by a much older gentleman who began bringing me all the "leftovers" from the local feed stores. When all was said and done, we had forty chickens, two turkey hens and a tom. The last of my old ladies passed two years ago and Dude (the tom) had been adopted by an older couple in Colorado. I haven't thought about much else but getting a new flock started up since. Unfortunately the coop had fallen into disrepair and I wanted to make some improvements, so I had to wait. In the meantime, I had joined the fb group The Crazy House Chicken Lady and lived vicariously through their posts. This July I finally ordered my babies from McMurray. I ordered two each; RIR, blue laced red wyandottes, ameraucana, light brahmas, egyptian fayoumis, silver laced polish, gold laced polish, and buff polish. I also ordered a silver spangled hamburg rooster, and they sent me a straight run buff polish rooster (mystery chick). I'm afraid I didn't do as much research as I should have and I'm a bit worried about how my fayoumis will fare during the winters out here in the NM highlands. I initially found BYC on a google search and I have visited this site numerous times over the last few years, but didn't actually join until a few months ago. I am an avid gardener, I love to read, I enjoy domestic crafts such as sewing, crocheting, knitting, and cooking. I love to work outside on landscaping and various carpentry and home improvement projects. Of course many of these things are either impossible or take a lot longer now that I have been diagnosed, three years ago, with rheumatoid disease. My husband and I live here with two cats and my chickens. I moved my mother into her own mobile home several years ago when she became unable to work. Sorry for the novel!