I've been lurking for a few months. We got 6 RIR hens (we were told) in late August that were 5 weeks old. One of them seemed different than the others right off the bat and seemed to be in charge so I named her(?) Col Holly Sanders. I'm sure you know where this is going, a few months later, Col Sanders started crowing and is now most obviously a roo! He's now Col Harlan Sanders, after, of course, the KFC founder. My 5 girls gave me a Christmas present and started laying on Dec 22nd. Now we're getting 3-4 eggs a day and I just gave away my first extra dozen today. I have 2 small children, so the girls are named Little Red Hen, Henny Penny, Chicken Little, Olive Oyl (Popeye's girlfriend, like Popeye's chicken), and Chick-Fil-A. Regardless of their names, I'm sure we won't ever eat any of them. Maybe Col Sanders if he gets too big for his britches, but he seems to accept me as alpha roo for now. We used an old potting shed on our property and converted half to the coop, about 4' x 8'. A friend gave us 10 old nest boxes. We fenced a fairly small pen for them - maybe 14' x 8' and plan to free range when it gets warmer and there's something to eat in the backyard. I hoping hubby will build me a tractor of some sort before spring so my girls can help me start a garden. I'm just north of Colorado Springs on 7 acres of forest. My kids are 2 and 6 and I've been unemployed since laid off in August '08. That's all the news that fits for me, I'm looking forward to joining in the conversations here - what a great resource! Kim PS ETA - these are my first chickens ever. I love birds and have had parakeets and cockatiels before, so I know how smart they are. Hubby's mom has raised backyard chickens in suburban New Orleans for years and years, so he has some experience. Plus he worked on his grandfather's farm and has culled and plucked many in his younger years.