Hi, I'm a first time chicken owner - just got our bunch last Friday. I'm a college student living with my parents currently, and we're all taking care of the chicks. My dad grew up on a farm so he's used to raising large batches of chickens but we are currently only taking care of a dozen (6 of them are not ours; we're holding on to them until someone has their hen house ready) free-range chicks. We live on an old farm that hasn't seen any animals besides dogs and cats for years so this is exciting! The breed of our chickens is a little... fuzzy, so to speak. We ordered from a local farm equipment store, and were supposed to get 6 Speckled Sussex, the chicks of which should be brown with distinct markings. What we have, however, look a lot more like California White chicks - yellow with a few black spots - so we're a bit peeved but we will raise what we have nonetheless. One actually looks different all together as she has no markings and is a paler color, a little puffier, and much more docile. The other six that we are holding were simply what the store had in stock for immediate purchase as the person we got them for had no preference. These chicks were labeled "brown egg layers." They're plain brown chicks, a little more aggressive than our yellow ones, and VERY curious. The plan at present is to just raise hens for fresh eggs. We're not interested in breeding at the moment. We have a lot of land for the chickens to forage around on once they're bigger, and two dogs to watch out for them. Well, one dog - Loujah - is part Schipperke, so she is made for hunting small animals rather than caring for them, and she is not a particularly loyal dog, thus we'll be keeping an eye on her around the hens. But Hally, our older dog, is a Blue Heeler / Border Collie mix with herding instincts and she has already fallen in love with the chicks. This forum looks great and I think it will be a big help and very interesting!