Thought I'd start here and introduce myself! I'm a long time reader and first time poster. I've got a small flock of 5 hens and one rooster. When my family decided to take the plunge and get the chicks - I decided to do my research first. And I learned all I needed to know from BYC! I studied up, helped my Dad build the coop, and brought home our babies! I also have 1 cockatiel, 3 dogs, 1 cat and 2 guinea pigs. We live on 4 acres and I love taking care of the animals. My favorite thing to do in the morning is watch the jack-rabbits and deer graze in the early light. About three months ago my mom asked me why our hen Bonnie was so obnoxious and pushy. I told her that with that lack of a rooster- she must be kind of taking on the role of the dominate female. After all, that is where the term "pecking-order" came from right? A few weeks later we noticed she was developing some really spectacular coloring. How pretty, we thought. She was so much more colorful than the other hens. And then it happened. While my Mom and I were walking to the coop, Bonnie made the strangest noise. It sounded like someone was trying to strangle her! We rushed to the coop and discovered that nothing was wrong. The chicks all seemed to be fine. And then my mom said it. "Why did our hen just crow!?" That was the day we realized that feed stores are not 100% accurate when sexing. Bonnie's name was quickly changed. First to Clyde- then to Foghorn. He pretty much goes by anything, including "THAT LOUD ONE." It was among the many things we have learned since then. Like how chickens love to look at shiny things- or how fussy some hens are about their nests. All and all I have LOVED having chickens and look forward to every new day with them. I was so excited about a week ago when we got our first egg. It was a blue-ish color so I quickly named Pam (our Americana) as the layer. And now, my younger brother and I rush out each morning and check for eggs. My name is Sam (girl) and I'm so happy to finally have joined. Thanks BYC for all you've helped me with! Happy to be aboard!