Hi there! (or should I say "g'day?") I moved to Australia from NZ 6 years ago and have settled in the semi-desert region of Victoria. My partner of 3 years has had chickens all his life (he is a farm lad) and we have eagerly added to the remnants of the family flock over time. We bought our first home on a full acre block just last year and sadly lost all of our hens due to old age and heat. All we had left was our rooster. We have since bought 2 Australorp pullets and 2 Isa Brown pullets who are now laying, and a friend gave us a box of 6 Silkie chicks which possibly contains 2 roosters (They are about 4 months old now). The 2 Isa Browns came from a battery breeding operation and the conditions made me cry. Although they are still wary of being grabbed, they follow me around constantly and bustle around my feet. They can be a bit nasty and peck at the Silkies and the cats though. The 2 Australorps are more independent. They will follow me around if they think I have something for them, but otherwise they mostly follow the rooster around. They are often found as far from the coop as possible, with the Isa Browns, and luckily will come when called! An open gate is an invitation for run for the empty neighbouring blocks! The 6 Silkies are a skittish bunch of morons! They run into fences and trees a lot and are never happy to be anywhere near me! The rooster has done an awesome job of protecting them from the hens after they were all put in together. They mainly mill around in a cluster by themselves near the coop. My partner is surprised they have all survived! Our rooster is a funny fellow. He has developed spurs in the last year, but has yet to use them. He got into the habit of coming inside to eat the cat biscuits and likes to lead the hens in if I forget to shut the screen! He doesn't mind the cats, as long as they don't cause trouble...he is protective of his flock, but is a coward when it comes to facing off with a human. He has split my lip with a single wingbeat and I can't lift him by myself...he is a big boy! He is not even a little bit affectionate or friendly and will run if you approach him, but he loves and cares for his girls and the adopted babies! For that, I love him! Other than the flock I have 3 cats (who all have a deep respect and wariness of my chooks). We are looking to add to the 3 budgies, 3 hermit crabs and dozens of fish that complete our menagerie once the aviary is built and tanks are upgraded. We also want to get some reptiles...we have an acre to fill, after all! I also want a goat...my partner needs further convincing... We survived a massive tick infestation (apparently we don't get ticks in this area), the scorching heat of high summer, and the haste and time-consuming harvest last year! This year I want to move and expand the chook run, add some fodder areas, and maybe look at brooding. I should add that my chooks are fairly free range. They lay in 3 different spots, have a whole half acre to range, (minus my herb garden, which they get growled at if they dig there), with overgrown trees, bushes, and leaf litter. They have a "pen" which they frequently escape from, and a dirt floor coop/cage/shed which contains a roost, food, and water, which they can be securely locked in at night. They happily put themselves to bed in here, although my silkies still refuse to perch, instead snuggling up together on the floor under the nesting boxes.