Born in Buena Park, CA, I've seen chickens since birth. Besides my parents raising 8 kids, (me in the middle) they started first raising chickens. My dad started out by purchasing 12 chicks. By the time I was 6 years old, we had 300+ They were everywhere! One day during this time, my Mom told my Dad; "It's me or the chickens, but one's got to go!" Knott's Berry Farm was 2 blocks away from our house Mind you, Knott's really didn't have many animals outside of their; "Old McDonald's Farm" attraction within the park.. They didn't even have a fence around the place at this time. It was wide open spaces. We made 15 trips in our Buick Station Wagon, loaded to the max with chickens, to the far side of Knott's that had the Ferry Boat, Kiddy Train, Merry-Go-Round, and Jungle Island. You might say; We stocked Knott's Berry Farm with Chickens. After about a week of clean up, my Mom was happy. Since then, as a teenager, I tried my luck at raising chickens. A neighbor kid, and I went to knott's and captured a clutch of newly hatching chicks. He held the Mad Mama, while I placed the chicks in a box, we even helped a few with the hatching, (we didn't know any better). All the chicks were kept at his house, (my Mom would kill me) and we raised them on whatever we could get, ie; mash, pigeon, parakeet, wild bird seed, table scraps, bread crumbs, etc. They all lived and grew well, despite living in a open pen, with only a piece of plywood in the corner for shade. No lights, no boxes or perches, just a turned over trashcan lid for water on dirt and grass. (we kept that pretty clean) We called them "Piranha Chickens", because what ever was thrown into that pen, was torn apart and devoured by them. Much the same results as you would have in a pigsty. Once they caught and ate a garter snake, and another time an alligator lizard. (who knows what else we didn't witness) As a pack, they would chase cats and dogs that wondered into the yard. On one occasion, while walking through the yard as we came back from fishing, an 8 inch Bluegill Bass jumped out of our fishing bucket, and within seconds, it was theirs! Eventually we gave two away to friends who admired them, and took the rest back to Knott's (they were Thug Chickens). I've been into animals my whole life.(on my 5th Birthday I got a snake) I'm a Herpetologist, and trained throughout school to become a Veterinarian, but by choice, never became one. I've cared for many animals, some extremely exotic, rare, and unusual, ie. Alligator, Cougar, Horn-bill, several monkeys, Poisonous and non poisonous snakes, most reptiles and amphibians, fish, African Lion, farm animals, etc. At the moment I am keeping, as part of our family pets, a hybrid Camelot Macaw, a parakeet, a ball python. The back yard is patrolled by 4 box turtles, 5 Russian tortoises and a red eared slider.(all have names) This micro-eco-system I've created here attracts; Raccoon , squirrel, rat, opossum, rabbit, hawk, falcon, egret, owl, dove finch, hummingbird, lizards, cats. (Sparrows, gulls and crows don't hang out?) I'm Joining to get ready to start raising chickens again. This time I want to do it right. Learning from current breeders, with their first hand accounts of information, and connections to quality stock, is what I hope to gain by being a BYC member. And if there's anything I can do for others here, just ask, I'm willing to do whatever I can for you. I'm interested in raising pure breeds, for all purposes. I want to start small, yet with large breeds Brahmas are definitely #1 on my list. [Beautiful, majestic, eggs, meat, quiet, friendly, desired for pets), IMO, this breed is all around great. I'm looking for the largest Brahmas that breeders may have to offer. Size will determine the color phase I choose. Favorites are Dark, Light, Golden partridge varieties. #2; I'm also trying to learn more about the tallest chickens available, ie; Malay, Shamo, Saipan, (etc?). I want a 3 ft+ dinosaur chicken,....LOL! I'm not sure what's available, or if a Long Tail Parrot Beak Aseel is in this category.(interestingly unique) My priority on these are in order; A. Tallest (3ft +) B. Heaviest of the tall ones (Shamo?) C. Friendliest (?) D. Price (low) This is my 1st step before moving forward on everything else. I need to determine exactly what I will be breeding in order to do it successfully. Thanks in advance , for any info. that BYC members can help me with.