I really think chickens are a starting point for homesteaders to venture into keeping livestock. Almost like a disease, this fixation with chickens seems to multiply: when you get two or three, you simply have to have more. When you start with a large coop, before too long you are dreaming of larger outdoor pens or sitting areas where you can commune with your food producing feathered friends. I have nearly as many conversations regarding chickens, coops, and Meyer Hatchery in Polk than I do almost anything else. After the chicken discussions, the topics turn to gardens or goats or other forms of livestock. It seems a lot of folks I know are showing signs of chicken dependency, and I think chickens are a gateway drug to a whole different lifestyle, one where you notice more about where food comes from, what hard work really is, and what effect your actions have on your lifestyle, your neighbors and the world around you.
Not sure about you all, but this is one addiction I can't wait to have.