Hello All -- I am back to chicken raising. I use to raise some in the mountains of Virginia, but have been out of the game for a while now. I always raised chicken for breeding and selling. Now I am more concerned with with home farm eggs. It is myself (29) my fiance (24 and a vet tech) and my son (6 months old). With a fiance that loves animals, it was not hard at all to talk her in to getting some chickens. We have a few other pets that are all inside pets and now we can put this acre of land to use for outside pets. I am the owner of a Company and former ARMY Ranger. After working from home for a couple of weeks, I have been going stir crazy. I needed another purpose to wake up at 4:30 everyday and be on a routine schedule. This has been the perfect answer! We will now get farm fresh eggs and even be able to sale a few on the side to the local community. I am currently building our coop and run. Shouldn't take long with my carpentry background and the fact that I already have all of the wood needed. I ended up driving by a lumber yard and seen they had free pallets. Well of course this isn't the best wood, but I did take five of them. Two with 10'x5' pieces of plywood on them and three that had 13 half-round posts as bases. All great wood for support and flooring. This may say "I'm cheap" but I like to thing that I recycle. Our starting set of new pets is as follows: 4 Rhode Island Red chicks (unsexed) and 2 ducks (unknown breeds). I didn't want the ducks when we went to "Chick Days" and the local tractor supply. Well we got in and my fiance looked all the animals over of course for anything that stuck out to her. She is a U of M student and works at a vet tech at a local Vet Clinic for the past 4-5 years. She immediately seen one duck that stood out. He was breathing full open mouthed with feces on him. I seen that the joint of one of his legs was poked out and it looked to be majorly swollen. We contacted the staff and let them know we would like to look at him. Well, it turns out that he/she was born with crooked joints and could not walk. We know this because we offered to take them off their hands and take them directly to the vets office (with us fitting the bill) and give them a full report and even return the duck if nothing was wrong. We were then told that if we wanted him/her then we would still have to purchase him/her. If we didn't purchase the duck, they said they would just have to let nature take it's course... We agreed to purchase the duck of course. Then one of the ladies said, well what about the other one with back issues? Then the one guy said "yeah I'm not sure how to handle this because you have to buy two ducks minimum". This really ****** me off more than I was already! We ended up buying the two ducks with issues (that the employees already knew they had issues) and took them directly to the Vet's office. We had two aviary specialists check the ducks out. X-rays and other things. The whole 9 yards so to speak. They both have the same condition of crooked joints with inflammation to the joints. We are now caring for these ducks with Physical Motion Control Therapy and the antibiotics that they need so the infection does not spread and kill them. So I went from Chicken farmer to Chicken and Duck farmer. Our chicks are doing great by the way. This entire thing irritates and ticks me off to no degree. PetSmart and other companies like them will seek Vet care when they see issues with their animals. Tractor Supply apparently doesn't care or they do not have any rules in place to take care of the animals they sell. If they sell them and not care for them, it tells me they only want to make a profit! We had to purchase the ducks, that were in their care, rather than TSC just surrendering the us and us bring them back with a health report have us fitting the Vet's bill! Now I not only have to build a coop big enough for our chicks, but way bigger for our new two ducks! Thanks Tractor Supply... Overall, I wanted to introduce ourselves and be a part of the boards. I will post pics of the chicks, ducks and our coop as it comes along over the next couple of weeks. Our animals have the best care ever, and I hope you all like our coop after its built! --Thanks!