Hello all! I've been on the site so much in the past 5 months that I thought it was high time to become a member. So many have been much help to me since getting my first 4 chicks last April and I have learned a lot these months and surely have tons more to learn - but oh the fun! I got chickens mainly for eggs, but they have literally been life changing for me. I had no idea how much I could learn from chickens, nor how amazingly entertaining they are (either that or I need to get a life!) I have raised "my babies" from little bitty chicks to this week, 5 months old. Built the "coop de ville" and spoil them rotten (I never would have thought that chickens whine - I am not over-humanizing them by saying this and realize they do this primarily because they think I am a constant source of food - but really sometimes it's like having dogs begging for scrap.) I have read everything I can to educate myself on chicken rearing - realizing that been well informed is a good thing, but experience is often the best teacher. That and accepting, sometimes, things just are what they are. I am anxiously awaiting my first egg - should be coming soon. I realized that they probably don't know that the fancy nesting box I built for them is intended for their eggs, so I am looking about the yard too. I was on the forum today reading about the "squatting" that they all 4 now do for me - letting me know that I am somehow a wonderful rooster to them - but I appreciate the opportunity to pick them up and hold them for a bit. (there really is some sick Freudian thing going on here - but I am trying not to think about it too much) I love my little flock - they have brought me a great sense of being grounded and always help keep me sane when I feel like I am losing my mind to stress. They have become part of the family, free to roam (within reason), my little dog has been amazing with them and we're just one happy family. Thanks again to members to have helped me and to the wonderful organizers who have spent so much time developing this forum. I look forward to chatting with many of you!