Greetings. Just joined BYC but have been using the site religiously for various reasons for about a year now, ever since we got our first birds in March of last year. Little did i know how daunting raising happy chickens was going to be. Bought them from random sellers at flea market sites around the area and now i wish i had collected chickens a better way. Have had quite a bit of issues with my birds. Started out buying 4 hens and a roo (got surprised as one of our first tiny birds we were told was a hen grew into a roo! lol) Ended up getting rid of that lil roo and buying 2 more hens. (again got fooled and one of those was a roo, we didn't know until they started crowing one day lol) Since we only wanted 1 roo, we ended up getting rid of that one too and buying 2 more chicks, (again 1 grew into a roo ) LOL ok. So after getting rid of that roo we ended up with 4 hens and the first roo. A buff orphington mix( i'm thinking) named Ethel (white egger). She is a very mean, dominate hen so a good name i declared lol. A red hen( no clue wat breed) we named Red ( wat else, she even lays red eggs), a white Amerucana hybrid (Snow) who lays green eggs, and an Arucana (Brownie Sunshine) who lays light blue eggs. The roo , named Big Jack, looked to be a Amerucana/ Brahma hybrid but i'm not sure. He sure was a LARGE roo tho. From foot to extened neck he stood 2 foot tall and beautiful From those first chickens we decided to incubate some chicks off of them and grow our house. Used a fan driven incubator and out of the first set of 11 eggs i successfully hatched 4 chicks. All survived and ended up with 2 hens and 2 roos. Since i wanted more i set 23 eggs in the incubator and hatched 7 successfully. (Not much luck as the rooster loved to mate but most of the eggs didn't develop in either set, and had 2 die in the egg). Out of those 7 i ended up with 3 hens and 4 roos. Only the Amerucana and the Arucana hens eggs hatched for some reason and one of the dead chicks was from the red hen so idk what that deal is. Our final hen is a Gold laced Brahma, beautiful girl we named Esmeralda. Our birds seem healthy and happy and thriving even though i have battled sickness in the hens throughout our time with them. And this site has been invaluable in my fight. Our original roo we sold after he did his duty and gave us our babies. But now i have 6 roos i need to rid myself of. I don't see culling or eating them as I raised them by hand from an incubator and just couldn't do it. My plans are to use my favorite roo to breed with Ethel and Red as we so want some babies from those girls. I have a chain link fenced in back yard and inside that i built their coop and their run. I can't let them free range as we have seen hawks in the back yard watching the birds and hear coyotes at nite. So far everything is good and we all are pretty happy bunch. But i ill say if i'd had known how much trouble it was getting to this point i would have invested more time researching on my project before jumping in feet first. Trial by fire lol. Ya'll have a great day.