Hi everyone! I have been silently taking in all the advice on this site since about March 2016 but finally decided to take the plunge and become part of the conversation. My husband and I live on about 4 acres with two young boys, a couple cats, two dogs and now 6 chickens and one Giant Pekin duck. We began our chicken journey in March with 6 RIR chicks and two Pekin ducklings from TSC chick days with the aspirations of having a wonderful supply of homegrown eggs. However 5/6 of our chicks ended up being roosters and, 4 of which became meat for our freezer and we lost one duck to an infection. We then gained 4 more hens in September from a friend, 2 Black Marans, and 2 French Bresse's supposedly from stock smuggled from France (how intriguing). We built a bigger coop for the winter and with all the tips I found on here the new birds and old birds quickly acclimated to each other. Our flock is free range for the warmer months and will have a run in the winter with a fairly large heated coop to keep them comfy. The chickens have become a bigger part of our lives than we ever expected. My husband and I have been loving raising them so much we are planning to convert our 4acre plot to a small homestead within the next few years. Who would've thought they would have such an impact? I am looking forward to continuing our conversation on here and if anyone would like to reach out to me to chat please feel free to private message me. I plan on joining some of the other forums as well such as backyardherds. We are planning on getting two goats and two pigs next summer. I'm sure the advice on these forums will be paramount to our success. I've attached a photo of most of our flock. One of the Marans would not cooperate. Our beautiful RIR rooster Bo has been awesome so far. He is very attentive and protective of our girls and rarely gets spunky with us humans. So far he only has small spurs so we have not had to do any maintenance on him. We are considering the hot potato method in the summer if they get out of hand. I appreciate any input on that topic. Nice to meet you all!