This isn't a very hopeful post. I thought I'd post in "Diseases" or "Pests", but then realized I'm thinking about everything together. It isn't just one thing. It really is everything. The key point is, no matter how hard we try, every year we have to start our flock almost from scratch. We buy quality feed, free range so our chickens get plenty of air and exercise, build secure cages, vaccinate, give individual care to each chicken, don't bring adult birds from outside (only hatching eggs or very young chicks) to prevent exposure to disease, keep our chickens free from parasites; we live in a moderate climate, and so our chickens are never very cold - and yet we lose almost all our chickens every year. No matter how hard we try to avoid diseases, something new always strikes. No matter how hard we try to protect our chickens from predators, something snatches them up right under our nose. If we think we tricked something, something else appears, and our chickens just drop dead. Sometimes we have enough eggs for our family, sometimes we don't, but having these eggs, when we sum it up, isn't cost effective at all!! Right now I'm at a point when I find it hard to care anymore. We lost so many chickens, after so much hard work. A decision I made is that we stop buying chicken feed for now, and only feed leftovers. We have plenty of leftovers, and the rainy season has finally begun, so there will be more forage for the chickens. We just can't continue to keep buying feed for chickens who keep dying. We will also stop vaccinating, because I haven't seen it make any difference in the disease rates. Any thoughts from others who felt discouraged from keeping chickens?