I too have been lurking from behind the scenes for months.. reading posts & learning. My husband and I live in NC and have a small flock we started in early March. We purchased our coop and six 16-week pullets from a gentleman on Ebay... and he brought it all the down for us on a flatbed truck. We had searched high & low for a predator-proof coop... we live in a rural area (although actually only about 5 miles from town) and everyone around us who has tried to raise chickens has lost them to predators. My dad, now 80 years old, lost the last flock he had about 11 years ago (24 hens and a rooster) all in one night.... something took off all their heads! I'm a huge animal-lover, and my hens are more pets than anything else. My very patient husband has gone to extremes to keep my girls safe. I'll eventually learn how to post pictures so you can see just how far we've gone to keep predators at bay... Anyway, I've lost one hen to I don't know what... although all the double-yolk eggs stopped after she died. We found her after returning from church one night... inside the coop & still warm. (I flip on the light & count my girls & wish them well every night.) I cried, wrapped her in a towel.... & my husband patiently dug a hole & held a burial with me at 11PM! One girl lost an eye... I was working so not sure what happened. My husband Steve, who's retired, says crow got in pen & he thinks they battled over food... anyone ever heard of that? Anyway, I have fought like mad to keep her alive for the past couple of months. Now she only wants to eat when hand-fed! Still, that side of the face is swollen & drains clear fluid a lot... so, my husband bought a small coop & we now have a rehabilitation pen. We've been treating her eye socket with colloidal silver spray. And, one girl got really sick with a cold?-- sounded raspy. Stopped eating. Hand fed for days ... she's now one of the most aggressive in the flock-- but still breaths with a rasp! All of your advice, although you didn't realize it, helped to save her! I also bouught four day-old chicks from local farm-supply store. They're 10 weeks old now, fully feathered, & their eye colors have all turned from brown to the yellow color of my adult hens. The chicks still peep like biddies though! They sit inside the big pen in a covered mini-pin my husband built for them so they can mingle without getting mauled... learned they from all of you too! So, I have 9 chickens total (one with only one eye), and all Golden Comets. Somebody at work talked me into these (my dad suggested Rhode Island Reds), but I love my girls' sweet personalities... although they do have their pecking order & will aggressively establish it at times. Okay... quickly a few other things... I'm a Community Health Nurse & I constantly have to explain why my car can't be used for hauling medical supplies (it's usually full of chicken stuff). My husband retired to be with my dad more... my mom died in 2002. My log-in name (chi-rn), which I've used for years, stood for chihuahua & nurse. I have two (senior, now) chihuahuas... but the name works for chickens too!! I teach Sunday School to 75-year olds & up & we love swapping chicken stories, although they laugh & think I'm far too sentimental over my girls. I also like to Cricut... but not for scrapbooking... for my Senior Adult SS class & VBS. My name is Glenda. Hi!