I am a newbie to BYC! Super excited! I had a few black sex link hens I purchased as 6 month olds from a local lady. I had them several years until a few months ago. I went inside to answer the phone, they were in the front yard free ranging, and ten minutes later I came back out to see a mass of feathers everywhere and no sign of my girls! I never even heard a sound. My kids (3 year old twins) were devastated. They could feed both of them out of their hands. So, I am embarking on raising chicks. I ordered barred rock, buff orpingtons, speckled sussex and silver laced wyandottes from McMurray, as well as some red ranger broilers. After a bout with cancer I have become more dependent on what I grow in my garden and want to raise my own food as much as possible. I also ordered some silver appleyard ducklings too. We live on 15 acres and am developing an orchard and expanding my garden beds. It will be a busy busy spring lol. I am going to invest in a few chicken tractors so they can range protected as well as a stationary coop to deep litter for garden compost. I have been reading tons from this site..what a blessing all you experienced flocksters are! We can't wait for our little chickees and this new adventure!