I have been hanging out on BYC for months as I began my adventure in raising Chickens. Here's A little background on how it all came to be. I am a happily married with two sons. i am also a school teacher. this spring my class was doing an embryology unit where we hatched quail through our local 4-H program. In addition to the incubator with quail eggs, I had an incubatior of a friend in my classroom. This incubator held a collection of "mystery eggs" , gathered and donated to my classroom for this exciting experience for my students. The catch was they needed a home after they hatched. Of course after taking care of the eggs and being the chick in charge, I fell in love with them and had trouble letting them go. My husband and I had been pondering having a small backyard flock in our future but had definately not this spring. I convinced my husband to let us keep some of them, mainly the ones that we had named already. The others went back to their repective owners. So this spring we decided to build a coop to save a little money. LOL! Um Well, according to my folks we have a chicken condo. We built a 6 by 8 shed which could be "used down the road just in case the chicken adventure didnt go as planned".We also built a very large run in addition to plenty of land to roam around on. Thanks to BYC for all of the helpful advice over the past few months. Our chicks loved their new home. At the time we had 3 Black Copper marans, 2 of which are hens and one of which is a roo. We also have a Poland Rooster and what we think to be a buff orpington hen. We were also given a brahma hen that is 4 weeks older than the ones we hatched. Well that was in May and June. As the chicks grew we discovered that we had 2 roos and 4 hens. Yes we know that was not a good ratio. So this fall weacquired an additional 9 pullets, 4 of them our Americauna and the other 5 are Black Austrolorp. The chicks have been seperarted from the older chickens until today. I hope my idea works. I took the large dog kennel crate that the now 6 week old chicks have been staying in and placed it in the chicken coop. I am hoping that the older chickens and the younger ones will become acclaimated to one another without the larger chickens attacking the smaller ones. Eventually I plan to let them out on a day when I can watch them a little closer and after they get a little larger. I am hopeful that it will work but could be totatlly wrong, at which time I will go to plan B. As for the chicken adventure, we are now going on the end of 6 months with chickens in the family, we started gathering our first eggs this past month, we have established that I am in charge (although happy thinks he is some days), and we are all getting along well. I can't wait until spring! I will have eggs coming out of my ears!!!