Hey y'all! I've started raising chickens little less than a year ago in Northeast Georgia. I started with 6 pullet chicks from Tractor Supply last spring in 2014 and have started hatching my eggs in my new incubator I ordered off Amazon.com. I've successfully raised some which are now young mixed chicks and lost a few chicks. I've purchased two Rhode island laying hens and a buff Orpington rooster off craigslist for $25. Raising chickens has been full of ups and downs. I recently lost three laying hens in two months to the "down butt and waddle" syndrome. Treated them like a bounded egg hen which I learned from this website but has no success and lost them. I'm still now sure how to prevent this from happening again. Maybe y'all have some advice for me. My current down was last week when I let all 11 of my hens out to free range as I do everyday then found my beautiful buff Orpington rooster dead with feathers scattered in my wood line along with a hen too. We have a couple hawks around that we've been trying to kill and think they are the culprit but who knows. I'm scared to let them free range now due to their safety. Yesterday, I ordered 25 chicks from Hoover's Hatchery online, mostly Rhode island with two roosters and one hen of buff Orpington, barred rock, Americana, and australop. They will ship March 4, 2015. I plan on hatching pure breed RIRs for layers, eaters and to sell off. If I love my other hens, I will get a pure breed rooster and do the same. I will listen to any advice because your experience trumps mine. Hope you have a great day and I'm excited to get my new box of chicks in the mail which of course I'll post a pic of all that cuteness. Please let me know if you are a local chicken farmer too, I'm always looking for friends with common interests.