Hello, everyone! I've known of this forum for quite some time - just couldn't get around to joining until now. A little about me: I have a background in livestock (horses, llamas, hogs, sheep etc). I grew up riding and loving horses, showing various animals in 4-H, and generally having a blast on the farm. I'm in college now with just a year left until I graduate and fly the coop (pun intended) in a timely manner. I must admit that I was at one time a chicken hater! I absolutely detested the thought of owning them. My mother and younger sister have wanted them for years. About a year ago, they went ahead and bought 15 little fluff balls (9 Rhode Island Reds and 6 Easter Eggers). The rest is history. But that wasn't the end of it. As soon as the first group was old enough to live outside the next wave came (5 Golden Buffs, 2 Barred Rocks, and 2 more Rhode Island Reds). Nope, still doesn't end there. Two weeks ago we picked up 3 White Leghorns. All are pullets, no cockerels. We have, unfortunately, had a handful of casualties for various reasons. That leaves us with 23 kickin' chickens currently (including both laying hens and chicks). They are pretty lucky - they have about 60 acres to run around on, a really neat recycled coop (I'll show you in a minute), plenty of dirt to bathe in, and are pretty happy chickens in general. I really, really love them...even though they have pretty much taken over our farm! They go where they please and leave presents along the way. They are very friendly, come when we call (for the most part) and are so spoiled it isn't even funny! Well, actually, it's hilarious. Their coop was our tree house at one time. My mom and sister always dreamed that we could use the tree house as a chicken coop. What do you know, it came true! About a year ago we took the tree house down for safety reasons. The actual house part was fine, but the supports were questionable. As a result, our chickens' residence has vinyl siding, a shingle roof...heck, those chickens even have their very own wrap-around porch! Here is a pic of the tree house turned chicken coop. The windows and doors have been boarded up for winter, this is just a progress pic taken some time ago. I do not have any great pictures of our flock. I'll have to do that and update sometime within the next few days. I can tell you some of their names, though. Hmm...let's see...there's Curly, Merida, Beth, Chanty, Sylvia, Black Beard, Mabel, and Dipper - just to name a few. Oh my, that was long winded. LOL. Greetings everyone, I can promise that my posts will NOT always be this verbose!