Just retired this year to 2 1/2 acres on a river. Thanks to a rummage sale with a $10 pile of cedar posts, we built a chicken coop with a run attached. Papa had chickens growing up, me ... never been around them. We found some on craigslist and picked them up 2 days ago. There are 1 year old, 9 Barred Rock hens, 4 Rhode Island Red hens, and 1 Rhode Island Red Rooster. He was a bonus alarm clock. The first day (yesterday) we got 10 eggs from the 13 hens. Yay! Hopefully they will adjust quickly and gives us more soon. Since I'm such a newbie, I've been googling how to's for a while, trying to prepare myself. Seems like I always ended up at this website anyway so I wanted to join you. Enjoy reading through the forums, what a fun group of people! We have one puppy, born on Christmas. She's 1/2 lab, 1/4 schnauzer and 1/4 beagle. We named her Ecclesiastes 9:4 because it says "It's better to be a live dog than a dead lion. If there's life, there's hope." We call her Cleo. So far, they all get along well ... but there is a fence between them. I like to crochet, photograph everything, read my Kindle while grounding myself in the yard, and create projects to keep Papa busy. Ha. We put up a greenhouse this summer, so as long as this wide open Iowa wind doesn't take it out, I will grow many plants for our garden next year. Right now I have basil ... lots of basil. Looking forward to searching the forums for more helpful information.