Hello BYC! I have been quietly lurking since last spring. BYC has answered many questions that I have had about raising chickens. I have a stack of books that have helped but nothing beats other peoples knowledge and experiences. Thanks for sharing with me! I am a proud wife of an Army vet. Collectively we have 8 children, 3 at home fulltime and 6 at home during the summer. I home school one child. I sometimes cuss, but usually only while driving. Okie drivers, I swear! My children are perfect, at least while I am watching. They do chores that most kids couldnt imagine doing nowadays! What do you mean you have to clean the chicken coop? I threw out the video game system and we now play poker as a family around the dining room table. What? They dont like playing pitch! We have 2 rescue dogs that we adore. Zeus was on his way to the pound 5 years ago when I snatched him up. We are his 3rd and final family. He is a 150 lb. ½ dogue de Bordeaux and ½ Fila. Yep, he is HUGE with a huge gas problem. Yankee candle owes the past 5 years of profit to my dog Zeus. Jip Jip Jip. Jip is the biggest pain in the butt dog I have ever met. Its a good thing he is cute. He was adopted from a humane shelter. We drove most of the day to pick him up and bring him home. He was a cute fuzzy pup, probably an Aussie mix. He is active and loves to chew on everything, even as a teenager. All while he is surrounded by doggy chew toys. Hmph. Hopefully this will pass soon. They both get along wonderfully with the other animals. We have an acreage with 2 LaMancha dairy goats, Benedict the buck and Bernice the doe. Benny is a turd but Bernie is a cuddle bunny. I wanted chickens so after researching the best fit for our needs and personalities, I chose the Delaware breed for our small farm. I added 11 Delaware chickens to our motley crew in March. Now I have laying hens and a very spoiled rooster that my kids call Florence. Last month while shopping at our farm and ranch supply store my children and I were captivated by the needy chirps of the last chicks of the season. We purchased 6 chicks and 6 more guineas, which is completely out of character for me as I like to research and prepare before hand. Now we are in love with what appear to be 3 white crested black Polish, 1 black crested white Polish and 2 Ameraucana chicks. Who knew? I hope they lay! I am all about being practical. But if the Polish chicks grow up just to look pretty, they have already earned their keep. My home schooled aspie son LOVES them and they love him back. Somehow we have fallen in love with poultry. That will prove problematic when my husband is ready to put some meat in the freezer! I am all about the eggs and the poop! I had the most glorious peppers this year due to the poop! That was the only thing I could grow due to the drought. The goats ate the eggplants and everything else withered and dried up. So now you know that I dont have a green thumb and that I must be crazy! Nice to meet you!