As I learned when I set out to breastfeed and to homeschool, having access to information and the knowledge of those more experienced than oneself is a tremendous asset. So, having first received my chicks about a year ago, considering myself to still be a "newbie," and finding that all of my Internet searches for solutions to problems brought me here, I thought it best to finally sign up with this forum. Who knows? One day I may be able to offer solutions upon which I myself have stumbled! So, my name is Barbara, I live on the south shore of eastern Long Island, and I have a variety of hens. I had a rooster, but he suddenly died one day in October for no evident reason. The hens have apparently "adopted" me as the new rooster, as they follow me around when they free-range and squat when I pet them or come up from behind them, similar to the way in which they did this whenever the rooster would mount them. I have found this to be an incredible learning experience, as I am constantly entertained by them and taught by them about the amazingly perfect systems created by God. Oh, yes, and the eggs are yummy, too! It is a pleasure to be acquainted with all of you.