HI... Just joined BYC tonight after perusing lots of different topics and learnining quite a bit .... We got our first flock last spring, 6 Black Sexlinks, the gals are doing really well... We built them a nice cozy little coup but found that our design ideas were really difficult to maintain over the winter months. Since we have so many requests for eggs, we decided this summer to build a nice big coup....and expand the flock next spring. We did alot of research and we think we've got a nice plan worked out...and we've taken into account all of the obstacles we encountered last winter ...so hopefully this winter will be a little easier on the gals as well as ourselves... Last winter one of the gals had a messy poo...and it froze in her bottom feathers....we couldn't get it out...and finally all of the feathers fell out and she had a bald bottom. I was wondering if anyone has ever seen this happen...We were hoping the feathers would come back...but the poor gal still has a bald bottom and it looks red...It's hard to look at, but she seems completely normal and perky, she lays regularly. One of the eggs in the batch always seems a little bigger than the others, and the shell seems to be mis-shapen...I wonder if it is hers.... I hope she's ok...she seems to be...and none of the other gals pick on her...they all love each other.... I have a very hard time trying to get her singled out in order to try and give her a warm soak...any pointers on how to go about doing that? While I Love the gals...and spoil them ...I have a healthy respect and even a little fear of them...so I "Chicken out..." every time I get too close.. Any Hoo...I'm looking forward to being a member of the BYC community... Thanks for the great forum... & Any advice or suggestions for a newbie would be quite welcomed!!