Hi there BYC! As the subject states, I am No Longer Lurking; have been for probably the last 18 months. You people are Awesome. Such good advise, many, many great stories and great people. I have enjoyed all the reading I have been doing with you and I figured well it's about time I joined. I am not yet a poultry keeper, but will be soon. I have grown up around the family farm (grandpa's) and am familiar with the farm life; although I have lived in a small city in Ohio, most of my life. I have so longed to return to that life. My plan is simple; in my mind anyway. I will retire early (47 years old) from my 22 years in the Forge. I will take my retirement funds and purchase farmland in either southern NC or northern SC. There we will begin our new lives of self sustaining by raising chickens, pigs, goats and maybe a few cattle; as well as garden and forage crops. My plan to start will be with the chickens. I think I have selected two duel purpose breeds that seem like good choices to me, your input would be appreciated on these breeds as well. I have selected Buckeyes and Black Australorps to begin my life as a chicken herder. Maybe you figured that out by my User Name already. Which will also be the name of the farm; BuckAlorp Farm. I know, maybe your thinking not even on the property yet and already naming it. Well I like to think I am a preparer, maybe why that is my job I am a Planner/Buyer for a northeast Ohio Forging company. Heck, I have already designed my coop, laid out the property for improvements and have begun building a 26 foot trailer to move all of my belongings south with me. I guess I haven't even introduced myself yet. Hello, My name is Ken, I am 47 and currently live in Ohio with my fiancee, her daughter, 2 dogs and 2 cats. Together we have a total of 6 kids (2 adopted) ranging from 17 to 26 years old, there are 3 grand children that have blessed our lives too. As I stated above, I am a planner, I seldom do projects without a lot of thought and preparedness, lists of tasks, lists of materials, cost analysis, spreadsheets and databases. Not everything goes as planned, but at least I planned for that too, so I knew what to expect. OK, well since I am currently at work, I better log off before someone realizes I am meeting you on their time and decides to retire me sooner than my plans. I look forward to actually chatting with many of you when I return. Oh, and boy do I have questions. Even after having many answered by just reading, my mind creates many more from the new information I have learned from all of you seasoned veterans. I can not wait to learn more; I am a sponge for knowledge; please help me absorb some more. Thank you for welcoming into your world!