Hello everyone! I joined BYC about a month and a half ago, and I just noticed the "new member introduction" part. So, here it goes- I'm from Oregon, married to a great man for the past 11 years, and have two beautiful daughters. Animals have always been a major part of my life, since I was a kid. Currently, we live out on 3 acres with, ready, 4 goats, 1 ewe, 7 cats, 2 bunnies, 2 finches, 5 dogs, 1 rat (my daughter's), 3 fish aquariums, 1 little aquarium (for a beta), and of course, my newest adventure, 4 hens. I have never owned chickens before, so this site has really helped! I've been a small animal vet tech for the past 11 years, off and on, the off times being home with my girls when they were smaller, and during the summer. I've worked part time since the girls were born, so I'm mostly a stay at home mom. ( I'd rather not work, but God knows I need the employee discount!- and I love working with and helping animals.) I got my hens for the sole purpose of eggs and pets. Honestly, I always swore I would never get chickens, because they reminded me of little Velociraptor dinosaurs, and I was actually a little creeped out by them. (Which is weird for me, because I like all creatures, rodents, snakes, bugs, spiders, etc.) I've taken care of my neighbors' chickens for years while they were out of town, and was still weery they were going to peck me. It wasn't until this past year, when one of their very old hens, started to kind of grow on me. I realized that maybe chickens weren't so bad. I always opted to by "cage free" eggs, because I am very much for animal rights, and I feel that every little effort helps. But after watching a documentary about the egg industry, the abuse of battery hens, as well as doing alot of research on my own, I started to buy "certified cage free organic eggs". Still, they were so expensive, I jokingly made a comment that we should just get our own hens and have our own eggs. Well, needless to say, here we are with 4 hens of our own. We have 1 Black Australorp, Betty, recently just got over a kidney infection, yes, weird, I know, 1 RIR, Henna, 1 Bantam RIR, Spicy, and 1 Black Sexlink(we think) Bantam, named Violet. I think the two Bantams are mixed with some game hen, though. I spend most of my time taking care of my "mini farm" and trying to keep my house clean and laundry done. I'm a little obsessed with having a house that doesn't look and smell like we have that many animals, (no, not all live inside), so I'm always busy. I love to garden, bake and help out at my kids school too. When I actually do have time to spend on myself, I love taking my dogs for walks, working out in the yard, dinking around on the computer, or coming up with new projects to zap up any extra time I don't have. Can't think of much more, just glad I was able to find BYC and all the info this site provides. Thanks!!