Just pondering really... my family have had chickens since well before my time. My grandparents kept chickens primarily for eggs but also for the pot and usually had between 20 - 30 at a time as far as I recall. My uncle took over when they passed away and then my parents took over his chickens when he lost a bit of interest (they are neighbours). Whilst I have always played a part in taking care of the family chickens, I didn't have a particularly active role until I got some some ex-battery hens in June this year. They are kept separate to my parents' chickens at the moment, as they are still quite bald, but in the same coop (it has a dividing wall) and with a fenced run within the main run. Since being responsible for these chickens I have been heavily involved in caring for the main flock as well and find myself increasingly busy with taking care of them. I sometimes lie awake at night wondering how better to control mites, whether or not the chickens are cold/hot, how to prevent/heal wounds, what to feed, whether the coop is acceptable and so on. In this time I have attempted to treat sour crop, trimmed our cockerel's spurs and claws, treated the chickens/coops with various mite treatments, installed new perches, changed the bedding we use, added more feeders/waterers, purchased cleaning solutions, filled dust baths, hand-fed sick hens and so on. I have basically spent a lot of time worrying and fiddling, although I think most on here would consider that sort of thing to be standard management/maintenance. My question really is do I actually make a difference in terms of the health and wellbeing of the flock? Of course I like to think so (which is why I do it!) but my grandfather never once did any of the above as far as I know. The coops were smothered in creosote, nesting boxes were stuffed with old hay. I don't remember ever seeing a sick or injured hen, they were all beautifully feathered and seemed healthy, cockerels were never separated or had bits trimmed, they never had vitamins added to their water and I highly doubt they were wormed. The eggs were always excellent. Perhaps he just culled/ate any chickens which weren't up to it anymore? I often wonder whether he would be proud and happy that I keep chickens too but to be honest he'd probably think I was totally bonkers doing half of what I do!