Well folks, my wife and I this year decided to start raising raising chickens to help supplement our farm we inherited from her mother. Her stepfather tried to run it into the ground and sale it before we could get out here. What he did not realize was we knew my wife's mother had made him sign a quit claim deed for the property and send us a copy of it. When he tried to sell it, the bank told him he had no legal claim to the land and the bank would foreclose on it if the payment was not made and the foreclosure would go against his credit, he was still liable for the note. He ended up selling all the equipment, tractor, bush-hog, cattle feeders.... Anything metal he could scrap found it's way to the local junkyard before we could take possession of the property and remove him from it. Now, like I said my wife and I decided to start with chickens, they being small and easily fed, without the ability to mow down the acreage we have here there is plenty of clover for them, even this late in the year. I started by trying to build a small coop under one of our white oak trees, even working hard into the middle of an unexpected thunderstorm that hit while trying to get our birds up out of the water and under a roof. Did I say this was a thunderstorm, let me clarify my statement, it was a lightning storm. At one point, while trying to secure a closed hutch building off the ground so the newly purchased girls we got did not drown, I was standing in ankle deep water, under the oak tree with a metal roof above me, a lightning bolt decided that the old oak tree would make a perfect target for its strike. This bolt went down the tree into the ground along the roots and water on the ground, and up my legs while I was swinging my hammer. The hammer decided it did not like the feel of the current flowing through my body and flew from my hand landing out in the yard away from where I was working. My body did not like the feel of the current flowing through my body either because it was traveling up one leg and down the other making me feel like my whole lower body was asleep. After a few minutes of getting feeling back into my legs I finished the hutch and made sure our girls were good. They had been roosting on a 2x4 off the ground and under semi cover out of the worst of the rain while I tried to act like a human light bulb. I finished it up and went back inside and my wife asked if I had heard the thunder strike because it sounded close. I informed her that I did not hear said thunder because I was busy being the conductor for the lightning that preceded the thunder and my rings were still not functioning properly from the encouragement from nature to finish my work. Her first words were, "Oh my god... Are my babies ok?" I can really feel the love. This was all back in May, and since then we have lost some and added others to our small flock. Mistakes on my part and her part. Nature claiming back her own through illness and wild dog attacks (those have since been taken care of courtesy of the local sheriff's department.) We started out with eight chicks and now grown to one hundred and five hennies and roos. I have since converted the back portion of the barn (wife's stepfather did not get a chance to tear it down and scrap it since it is metal) into a larger multi stage coop area with outside access via doors I made that can be opened and closed by pulleys and cantilevers to outside runs which can be rotated around to allow the ground to replenish and covered by chicken wire to protect from hawks and owls which prey greatly on chickens out here. I am sure this does not sound like much to some, but for me this was a big step, I knew nothing of chickens, I grew up a cattle rancher and horse wrangler. Well I have hung up my spurs for now and put on my barn boots to take care of these "lil peepers" and my wife and I couldn't be happier.