My husband and I were planning to "retire" to our 1 acre in North Carolina 4/2018 but our plans were moved forward due to Hurricane Irma flooding our home in Naples, Florida. So we spent our first winter in North Eastern North Carolina starting Nov 2018. What an experience, the house was in no way ready for winter. My husband had never even seen snow before (he is from Cuba) and I hadn't seen snow in more than 20 years. It was amazing though, we love it here. We decided to raise some dual purpose chickens and after much research we settled on Rhode Island Reds. 3/10/18 We bought 10 straight run RIRs and they happened to have White Wyandotte, so I hand picked what I thought would be a male and a female of those. I handpicked all of the Reds and as time went on, I guess all my research (and experience growing up in the country) paid off, all of them were pullets. About 12 weeks in we found out that the Wyandottes were actually Cornish Cross. I was sad about that but we tried to keep them as stock. The Rooster was fantastic, funny and comical to watch. He took care of everybody. He ranged all over our acre and was very active, but he was huge. We ended up having to cull both of them, they weighed out 8.5 lbs for the pullet and 10.5 lbs for the rooster. Since then (4/10/18) we bought two straight run Leghorns and in the pen with their Cornish Cross was two little birds that were definitely not Cornish Cross. They were very tiny and swan looking with black beaks and feet. The lady at TSC said they were Cornish Cross, I knew they weren't, so I took them just to keep them from getting squished by the huge chicks they were mixed with. They turned out to be Silkies. Believe it or not, all for of these chicks turned out to be pullets also. On 8/4/18 we took a little trip into town because we had talked about raising some more meat birds (Cornish Cross), so we stopped into the TSC and bought 12 straight run Cornish Cross and they just so happened to have some Silver Marans and Australorp. So we added 2 Marans and 1 Australorp (straight runs again). I am hoping the Australorp is a Roo, I'd like to cross him with my RIRs. I belong to a few groups on Facebook regarding Homesteading and Sustainable Living and their are very few posts/discussions about raising chickens that are not basic, so I started trying to get my questions answered online and found a lot of answers in this group, so I figured I would join. Hobbies...it's been so long since I've been able to entertain a hobby, I really don't know how to answer. I have worked corporate work for 20 plus years and the only thing I know is that my sewing machine and serger grew cobwebs over that time. Since we moved here, I did set up a sewing room on my second floor foyer looking out two big windows overlooking some beautiful farm land and our front yard. So I know I want to get back into that. Our biggest "hobby" is rehabing our 1947 two story home. I don't know if you'd call it a farmhouse, it is a post war era home usually called a Traditional, but it does have two stories (most of them do not). It is just me and my husband here in North Carolina. We have children and grandchildren in New York, Tennessee and Florida. They try to visit us every six months or so (which is so much fun). They love it here, they love the politics of the chickens and they are amazed at the change in our lifestyle. We have two dogs. A nine year old female Brussels Griffon and a four year old male Shitzu. Both are fixed, so no puppies ever from them. My husband is a Master Electrician, but his only job now is getting this place turned into my dream. I work remotely for a construction company part time. I look forward to meeting everyone and participating in this group. I have some crazy stories, which end up in probably dumb questions, please bear with me.