I am posting this in this forum in here more to get more people to read this story because even though this forum is disease, it is the most viewed forum of them all, so I am sorry if this is wrong, but i joined this 2 years ago after my 1st of 2 roosters died, So all I ask is that you read my story and give me feedback. So I will now tell you the story of my chickens. I am currently 17 and I live in Franklin, Wisconsin, USA. In 2008, I was 9, and my next door neighbors that have only an 18 acre field with no buildings or anything, began construction on a few new buildings in their field, we were not sure what at the time, but after having only gardens ever since we moved in, they now were getting chickens. They built 2 chicken coops, one right behind our property and one across the field from our property. Fast forward about 2 years. I had always enjoyed visiting the chickens and walking around the field. One evening, While on a walk with my mother, One of the neighbors had stopped and simply asked "You want chicken?" (They were Hmong and only spoke little English) We assumed right off the bat that they were going to give us a butchered, ready to eat chicken. Later that night before they left, They pulled up into our driveway and handed us a paper bag. We thanked them and they drove off. I grabbed the bag, but it moved and started peeping. We all looked at each other confused, as we opened it, inside are two young, black chickens (gender at the time was unknown). Surprised, we simply put them in one of our dog kennels in the garage. over the next few weeks we talked about their fate, and even though my dad and I are devout and avid hunters, we both refused to hold down two birds against their will and chop their heads off. We just don't have a heart to do that to a helpless creature, we're hunters, not animal murderers, We just can't bring ourselves to kill in that fashion. We ended up settling on keeping them. My dad and I built a coop over the next few weeks, whilst our two German Shorthair pointers and the chickens take turns being loose in the yard, because them being bird hunting dogs, they instinctively thought they were hunting birds, so we had to separate them from the chickens. I had named them at this point, by just how they behaved, I named the friendlier of the two Peep simply because he peeped all the time, and the less friendly, more skittish of the two Squash, because that was his favorite thing to eat. I remember vaguely the details of one specific summer afternoon a little over a year later. We had found out over the first summer, when the chickens grew, they both turned out to be roosters and both were very similar in sound of their call and color but also very unique from each other. I remember hearing a ruckus coming from outside and running out there to see our dogs taunting the chickens, while they were all loose. Squash was on a log in the swamp with the dogs surrounding him, we called them off and I got the chicken, but Peep was missing, just vanished without a trace. We took the ATV up and down the road and looked everywhere, no feathers or anything. I was devastated after not finding him for an hour and a half. I only had one chicken to my name now and we only had them a couple months. I went on my computer in my room, depressed, to hear his specific Crow call. I ran outside, and he was just standing on the porch looking at me like "Where'd you go?" I was glad to see him safe. to this day, I still don't have a single clue where he was. There were many other events I remember, its all blurry and meshed together because I had them for 6 1/2 years now, but I recall a few different events each year. I remember a summer day when two crows were fighting over the chickens' corn in the back yard and the chickens ran over and broke it up like it was a bar fight and they wanted to keep the peace. I can recall one late spring/early summer day 7:00 in the morning, My Chicken had already been let out and they all of a sudden were making their distress call. I ran outside to see a coyote running off in the opposite direction into the next door field. I chased after it to no avail, obviously. I feared the worst, but when i came back, I saw both of them walking around the yard and I blew a sigh of relief. I also remember doing things with them that most dogs and cats don't even do. Those boys went on the swings, they rode on ATVs, motorcycles, bicycles, sleds, and wagons. The moral of that story was, they were like dogs to me, another member of the family, very friendly, nothing like any other roosters, they were as friendly as hens. Many times I remember messing with them and setting up the turkey decoys for hunting up around the yard, and they were terrified of them, they really believed if they got within 10 miles of those decoys, they were going to die. In late November of 2011, Spike our oldest dog died while on a hunting trip in South Dakota. I never got to say goodbye or see him afterwards. Chopper, Spike's son was our one dog now, and from there the story goes on. Chopper and the chickens grew very used to each other to where they could walk a foot from each other and not even notice each other. One summer night, I remember closing their door and forgetting to open it for them, so around 11 PM I went outside to put them inside and lock them up, but the second i opened the door, they were making their distress calls. I heard both of them and I saw a shadow of some small creature run away. I ran over to see Squash in his house but once again, Peep was nowhere to be found. I looked around a bit and found him in a divot next to the tree their house was next to, I got him up and he walked into bed. That was what I remember as the downfall of poor Peep. Squash had at some point established himself as the dominant male, beating up and picking on Peep, one Winter night, keeping Peep in the cold, on the ground not letting him into the warm, hay filled house. I always tried to make them equal, but that being their nature, it never worked. Peep struggled over the next few months. with a slight cough, and a noticeable limp from a broken toe, but he hobbled along well and appeared to be healthy. One fateful night in June of 2014 however, two of my friends were over, and I went to lock the chickens up, but I noticed Peep was on the ground, not up their ladder in their house (They have a two-story coop, a bottom cage, and an upper, enclosed bedroom) I encouraged him to go to sleep up in his house multiple times. He wouldn't budge, I knew something was up, I pulled him out the door and looked at him but instantly knew something was wrong, As i picked him up, he looked drained, and right then and there started have lung failure of some sort, he was gasping for breath and breathing heavy (I can still hear the nightmarish cringey sound in my head, horrifying and so sad. I ran inside to my mom and dad crying and screaming something was wrong but what could they do, I brought him outside to where he stopped breathing and went still in my arms. He died right in my arms in front of me which absolutely killed me. I will never forget his Unique crow call and other sounds he made.I was shut down, I didn't know what to do, we buried him the next day, and now we have a skittish lonely chicken wandering the yard, forever looking for his lost friend. By the next Summer Squash was not Squash anymore, he was a changed chicken, friendly, vibrant, confident, and beautiful. The chickens had always had hot spots in the yard. Over their 6 1/2 year reign in our yard, they had certain spots in the yard they would hang out. Every day they would wait in front of the garage door for me to get home from school off the bus, and after Peep was gone, Squash kept up the tradition. He would wait every single day for me to arrive, follow me to the back porch, and wait there until I would give him food. He would walk over to his empty water bucket and cluck telling me there's none left. One spring day in 2015, last year, I was inside making a sandwich, home alone with just Chopper and Squash outside. I heard his distress call and me and Chopper bolted out the back door. I was shocked to see a coyote trotting after him through the yard. I made Chopper stay on the deck and Squash ran up to me and hid behind me, now, I look up at a coyote pacing, 10 feet from me just waiting and watching, I threw Chop and Squash inside and ran down the hall to get my shotgun. I was too late, he took off and I really regret not getting that one because He was not scared of me, which is a bad sign in a coyote, it could attack a pet or even a small child. I also remember last Winter, end of February, I went out to my chickens house to lock Squash up and I got a heart attack from a cat who came charging out of his home that was apparently cuddling with him, that luckily did not hurt him. Now I move to recently. All was going good, I had bought a new bag of corn, a bale of hay, and I had hooked up a heater, Squash was set in for Winter. It was the day after Christmas, December 26th, 2016 (Yesterday) I had been gone all day at the Milwaukee public museum with my family. We came home and I unlocked the door and let Chop out to go to the bathroom. He ran over by the chicken coop and stopped to got to the bathroom like always, then he began smelling around like something was there, curious, I walked up and I came across one of the last things I had expected to come across. My beloved Squash, the survivor of the two roosters. His body was lying cold, frozen to the ground , and it was a horrendous, gruesome scene. His throat was slashed and his head and neck were all chewed up to a point beyond recognition, I could not see his face or eyes anymore. I felt a mixture of emotions at that moment, but the biggest was and adrenaline rush pumping an enraging anger pulsing through me. I knew exactly what did it. The possum that wandered through our yard the night before. That little ****** went into my perfectly healthy chickens house, killed him and then chewed on his body, but ate nothing. My Squash was dead, and that didn't sink in until later, which is now, my keyboard covered in tears as I write this. As luck would have it, I got lucky, the Possum was crossing our yard and my adrenaline rush pushed me to run in and out of the house within 5 seconds with the .22 pistol in hand. I walked up, shot and killed it. The culprit was dead, but nothing was going to bring Squash back. I was filled with anger and hatred for that creature. I picked Squash's body up, and put him in a box and wrote on it like a tombstone. I buried him the next day (Today) and that was when it really sunk in. That was the end of an ear. I will long for the sight of my roosters wandering the yard, the sound of their crows you can hear all the way down the road, and the time and fun we spent together. Chop laid at my feet and acted like he did when Spike died, as though he knew something happened and his other friend died. I am sad now, because I will never come home to see that chicken waiting for me in front of the garage anymore. I will never again hear the beautiful sound of their crow calling. I will never hear the clucking sounds they made when finding yummy food on the ground, and I will never get to hold and hug them again. Their house will remain vacant for the rest of the Winter, with new, fresh hay filled in it, I dumped the rest of the water out that i filled for him yesterday morning, and The rest of the corn that he never got to eat still sits on the ground, waiting for the other birds to eat it. I would give just about anything just to hear the purring sound they made when in bed at night when i tapped on the side of their house to lock them up. The hardest part, was giving the final salute and hug before burying him today, right between Spike and Peep. I should probably stop as I am having trouble even keeping my eyes open and I feel lightheaded and have a headache from crying so much at this point (I can't even explain just how upset I am right now, it doesn't translate to words. I thank you to anyone who read this entire long post, I just had to share what a great deal these boys meant to me and how much I will miss them, because as small as they were animals, and only the 6 years they were in my life, they were like dogs to me, other members of the family, that are once again together in their final resting place. They are now together again though, brothers in heaven forever. I really would like to just stop and say thank you guys so much for the wonderful experience of chicken ownership and for being my chickens. Love you guys, god bless and godspeed. I would also like to ask a quick feedback response, I would like to once again love chickens, and as much as I want more friendly roosters and to hear the crow calls and see the beautiful colors, but at the same time, I would like some loving hens, maybe 4 or 5, because I want Peep and Squash to be unique, one of a kind deal, not that any amount of chickens could ever replace them. I never did find out what breed Peep and Squash were, I've heard a list of mixed breeds that would make a look alike, but nothing could ever replace them. Maybe just leave a tip of what breed you think i should get, or even more helpful, what mix breeds these guys were, and also whether to get hens or roosters, because as I said, as much as I want more roosters to love, Peep and Squash were so unique as chickens, no rooster were as nice as they were and I hear hens are even nicer, plus It would be such a change from noise making, colorful roosters, to plain, quiet, non-crowing hens. I just don't know what to do. Thank you very much to whoever read to this point through my unorganized ramblings, I just had to share a story of my boys lives, and I will miss them more than I can put into words. Thank You from the bottom of my chickenless heart, M4 EnthUZIast.