Hi Everyone~ I have been learning about chickens for quite a few weeks here (as a non-member) on Backyard Chickens and I finally want/ need to jump in with a post ( after this one)... This forum has been a source of enjoyment and the best information I have seen so far about this fun little critters! (1) Are you new to chickens / when did you first get chickens? I am as new as you can get. I live with two people who got 6 chicks from the local farm supply store in the spring of 2017. But I am the researcher and the person who almost attended vet school, so when we have a new question, I have become the person who spends the most time trying to solve the mystery or expand our knowledge. (2) How many chickens do you have right now? Sadly, this little flock now only has 4. One baby was lost almost immediately, and we just lost a lovely hen a couple of weeks ago, which is the reason why I am now a member here. (3) What breeds do you have? Rhode Island Reds (4) What are your favorite aspects of raising backyard chickens? I enjoy learning how to care for them better, and I enjoy handling them in the coop when they need some sort of hands-on care. (again, a near miss as a veterinarian). (5) What are some of your other hobbies? I am trying to fully retire from cat rescue and TNR projects, but that particular passion of mine has spiked once I moved onto this property in the country. I am fascinated with homesteading and a wannabe homesteader and permaculture enthusiast. In my urban yard, I puttered around with certain aspects of permaculture and growing/ processing medicinal herbs. I would LOVE to get a serious education as a Master Herbalist someday, and have my own apothecary. I am a mom and my daughter is a central feature of joy in my life... certainly not a hobby, but these are some of my favorite things. (6) Tell us about your family, your other pets, your occupation, or anything else you'd like to share. I guess I blended the answer to the previous question and this question. My daughter is about to turn 19, and she is in her first semester at college, so she is fluttering around like a newly-fledged bird. I have a LOT of cats, mostly the tough or more needy personalities left over from rehoming dozens of easier customers. In June of next year, my daughter will take some of them into her independent household, so my status as a crazy cat lady will be diminished before too long. I began sub teaching in my local public schools recently (and late in life) and I feel like I discovered my missed calling. I love it, especially the Special Education departments that I work in. I just love the kids, all of 'em. (7) Bonus: How did you find BYC, how long have you known about BYC, and what made you finally join our awesome community? I spent a large number of hours trying to figure out what was wrong with the hen we lost recently and also trying to figure out exactly what to do for her, and the remaining flock members. BYC has been a main go-to source of incredibly helpful information. I finally joined tonight because I have some questions that are specific to our girl, and I need to post my questions as a member. I am probably more excited than I should be.... I have a passion for horses (but not the finances) and for cats, and I can tell that I could easily develop the same level of interest in chickens as well.