Hey all I'm B, the newest chicken junkie to join. I've been lurking for awhile and finaly made the plunge to join. My pal AJ and I have a small farm (its in progress). A few months ago we decided.. hey! We need chickens! A sweet lady offered us two silkies. We had them a couple months, and built them a beautiful coop when we decided (having been bitten by the chicken bug), we need more chickens. This is where I made the mistake... I didn't research into the local suppliers. I bought a dozen chickens and a rooster from a local feed store. We got them home and all settled in, and a couple weeks later my silkies seemed to be sick. I began hand feeding them but they passed away before I could figure out what it was. Soon the other chickens began to sneeze, after looking it up I discovered they had Roup. The only explanation I could think of was that the feed store chickens were carriers. I went and got antibiotics to give them and they seem to be getting a little better. Yesterday I was holding one of the hens and I felt something hard poking out of her thigh area. I found a strange hard organic material sticking out of her skin. I started freaking out, and we decided that whatever it was, it wasn't supposed to be in the chicken. After several labor intensive minutes, I was able to remove it, leaving a small hole about the size of a pencil top in her leg. I treated the opening, and she seems to be doing just fine. I'm still sort of freaked about what it was... I kept the thing just in case. But still... weird. Anyway, that is our chicken adventure so far. its a pleasures to meet you all!