In both senses of the word: new to the forum and new to raising chickens. We had RIRs and Plymouth Rocks when I was growing up, so I have a little experience, but I didn't do much with them other than gathering the eggs and running from the roosters. We bought eight 7 week old chicks two weeks ago, from a local ranch. Four New Hampshire Reds (Fiona, Sunny, Rose and Fern) and four Cuckoo Marans (Haw, Enox, Stella and Georgia). I bought older chicks for a few reasons: it's late enough to finally get the coop finished and the girls in, I'm sort of lazy/leery when it comes to the idea of brooding them myself (ignoring the extreme cuteness of the fluff balls), and I wanted to get some that were ready for the coop, but were still little enough to enjoy. Well we really enjoy these chicks!! We have a nice attached run with the coop, but the goal is for them to free range (with supervision) when they get bigger. We live on about a 5th of an acre (regular suburban subdivison lot) in the High Desert near Los Angeles. We have a Great Pyrenees that doesn't seem to realize that he is bred to GUARD the chickens, not chase them/try to scare them to death/possibly eat them. They've gotten used to him already so it's a bit funny watching him freak out on the other side of the fence. I'm very excited about learning more and sharing here!