Hello All I'm a relative newbie to chicken-raising and found your great, informative site while looking for answers to questions I had about my 'gals'. When we moved to Whitewater last October, the previous owners left behind eleven elderly, dilapidated girls, many of whom I feared would not last the winter. The first time I tried to feed them the food the owners had left behind, the chickens ran away! Off to the feed store I went to purchase more, which the gobbled up eagerly. The coop was too small... drafty and filthy as were the nest boxes. So we set about a) cleaning and b) putting up a new, larger and warmer coop. Alas, the girls did preferred their old coop....most still do! So we tightened everything up as best as possible... amazingly all eleven came through the winter and actually began to thrive. Come Spring, one of our ladies was murdered by the burro the same previous owners had also left behind when they moved. Needless to say, the burro has been re-homed. Over the summer two more of the girls passed away, peacefully, leaving us with seven girls, most pretty much past the laying age....so It was time to find a few new gals to add to the flock. We found them at the home of a lady who had rescued several hundred chicks from a breeder who'd had three shipments cancelled by a local feed store. They were just old enough to be turned out, but were too small yet to go out and free-range with the older gals.... good thing we had that second coop These little beauties are Rhode Islands three white, and three red. The 'babies' grew and thrived and were soon free-ranging with the big girls. Then, another of the older chickens passed... so Off to the rescue lady we went. I really like the RI's... they are sweet and friendly and began laying the cutest little tiny eggs at about 22 weeks of age. But the lady was out of RI's.... and the young birds she had left were free ranging and as wild as March hares. I picked out the cutest that we could catch of what she had left. Two Americunas (I think, as one lays a blue egg, the other lays a green one), one Wellsomer (so pretty) and one I have no clue, (but she lays a beautiful brown egg) The newest gals were about the same age as the 'gang of six' so I turned them out.... BIG mistake! They could fly quite well and they were also small enough to fit through the pig wire in the pasture! We had chickens EVERYWHERE... two hours of chicken chase later we had them sequestered in their new home...with newly clipped wings! We kept them in the chicken yard until they were big enough to NOT fit through the fence... lesson learned. Now I have the molt going on.... why oh why do they molt at winter time??? I've been feeding them Feather Fixer and they have a few pin feathers growing in but it's all of a sudden very cold here on the Western Slope of Colorado... and I worry. Well, anyway... Hello. Great site.