Hello! I'm new to the board here, although I've been lurking for a while trying to soak up information. Feeling pretty overwhelmed right now, as I thought raising chickens would be pretty easy - but from reading my book and browsing the forums, it seems more involved than I thought. haha. I was imaging more self-sufficient. But I may be over complicating it as well. To start off with the sample questions: (1) Are you new to chickens / when did you first get chickens? Yes. Very new. I plan to buy some chickies in about 10 days with the next "batch" at the local hardware store. Plan to raise them in the house for about a month, before hopefully moving them outside to a coop I have not yet built. (2) How many chickens do you have right now? Zero. (3) What breeds do you have? Looking for laying hens mostly. So I'm not sure exactly, I'm at liberty of the hardware stores and their selection. I'd like primarily laying hens, and potential dual-purpose in the event that I accidentally get a cockerel. Debating between hybrid/pure breeds, although I think I am likely leaning toward more hybrids (again, based on selection of stores). I think the next batch of chicks coming in will include Red-Sex Link (and maybe Black Sex Link) which I think will be a good breed to begin with. Always open to recommendations. I'd prefer something that does a lot of self-foraging (sounds like hybrids in general don't do this very well and require expensive feed??). And need some birds that are heat tolerant as I live in the desert where it gets pretty hot in the summer (and pretty cold in the winter too!). (4) How did you find out about BackYardChickens.com? Google. (5) What are some of your other hobbies? I do a lot of outdoor sports - my passion is rock climbing. But I love to get out to trail run, hike, or do anything in the mountains. I'm looking forward to having a garden this year too. (6) Tell us about your family, your other pets, your occupation, or anything else you'd like to share.