Just wanted to say "Hi!" and "Thank you!" to all the forum members for this most helpful forum. I've been lurking/learning from this forum for a while and finally decided to register. We've had chickens for less than a year. We reside in the country with other critters and plan to utilize the chickens primarily as layers (eggs for us/friends/maybe sell), contemplating eating some of the roos (or selling them on craigslist) if we can successfully raise the chicks to adults. I'm a food snob and want to know where my food comes from. . .we raise our own beef and try to garden. Started with six adult chickens last fall (one roo/five hens--three ee's/three gold sex links). We ended up ordering two batches of day-old chicks this year that both came in June----26 purebred Ameraucanas-straight run from Michigan, and ----when we didn't think we'd get the Ameraucanas, a collection of 26 unusual (pullets) from McMurray out of Iowa--11 days apart in age. We've only lost one chick so far. . . .either wasp sting or cocci. . . .but since another one was looking sick, we're treating them with corid (available in some states from Vets only). Without all you great individuals on this forum, we'd have been lost. Don't know which breeds we like best, but we do like blue eggs. Our chickens will freerange and stay in portable coops or tractor at night. We have one "A" frame tractor that housed the original adults and have built one portable coop for the oldest batch of chicks. We used stock tanks for the first couple of weeks and moved them to outside metal pens (on grass) with plywood liids when it got so hot. We've still got to build another coop for the youngest chicks--they're still packing themselves into a dog kennel--and quickly out growing it. The chickens are relaxing to watch and we (hubby/I) can certainly understand why this hobby has the potential to become addictive. This is our summer of "the chickens". Don't know how often I'll post, but. . .again. . .thank you all for such a good site to promote chickens and educating me and the world about chickens.