I was raised with chickens in my backyard on a small acreage in South Dakota. I guess I liked them but never thought too much about them. I grew up got married and we bought a small acreage in Nebraska. We lived on the acreage for several years, then one day knowing my dad had some bantam chickens and I decided it would be nice to get a few, we already had a big barn so it would be easy to keep them. We got 6 bantams and my kids and I adored them, here is where we started our amazing chicken journey. My kids were growing up and they joined 4H, and of course logically I had to get some chicks for their 4H projects. I went to our local farm store, and to my delight, I discovered their were so many different breeds to purchase. We bought several different breeds and we had so much fun growing them up and showing them. One thing led to another over the years and we started selling "fertilized hatching eggs" two years ago and plan to sell eggs and chicks in spring of 2018. We have around 15 different breeds, no exact number but likely around 300 birds. We have the true ameraucanas; blue, black and splash, to our amazement, we hatched several splash birds this spring, they are beautiful. We also have Salmon Faverolles bantam and standard, lavender splash orpington, blue rose combs, all colors of d'uccles, black and birchen cochins, Wyandotte's, Sussex, polish and more. Planning to get a couple more new breeds in the spring as well. This spring I had breakouts of coccidiosis and that brought me to Back Yard Chickens for advice many times, which has been very helpful, I love the posts from members. I have been particularly interested in raising chickens naturally and keeping them healthy with herbs. I enjoy gardening, cooking, and photography. We grow a large garden on our small acreage, my inspiration comes from my dad who was a truck farmer, we grew acers of melons and tomatoes. We eat from our garden and orchard year round. Combining my other loves cooking and photography, I designed a food blog sliceoftaste.com and blog for Grit Magazine occasionally. One of my future plans, is to grow a large herb garden for my chickens and dry the herbs for year round feeding. From my readings here, I have been experimenting by adding herbs and essential oils to their food and water and it seems to be working. I have been using herbs, oregano, rosemary, garlic, thyme, and sage, keep the posts coming on raising chickens naturally. Chickens are amazing creatures and we love spending time with our chickens, we like to sit and watch them scurry around the yard. We pick them up, we feed them treats and bugs, you know there is nothing like a good cricket or grasshopper to a chicken, they love'em. I am happy to be a member now of Back Yard Chickens I look forward to learning more about raising chickens healthy and naturally, keep on posting!