Hello all! I'm new around here. My husband and I had chickens years ago - until a neighbor's dog found them. We decided not to get any more. Recently, my daughter and her husband and their kids moved next door to us. Her husband wanted his kids (from a previous marriage) to experience farm life. He promised them horses. They got horses. I get the feed bill! He promised them goats. They got goats. I get the feed bill. My grandson caught a couple of hens at a local rodeo in an even called "You Catch It, You Keep It." Now we have hens, and our old henhouse died of old age. We built our new henhouse out of scrap lumber and sheet metal. It looks awfull, but the chickens don't seem to care. The strange thing is - of all the animals we have gotten, what makes me the happiest is the chickens! Maybe it's because their feed bill is so much less than the horse's. I've never been particularly fond of chickens before - but listening to them make their little "happy noises" and watching them search so industriously for food is very soothing. I've even caught my husband sitting beside our excuse for a henhouse watching the hens. We can watch them for hours! We have different types of chickens. We have several Buff Orpingtons and Rhode Island Reds. I have one Barred Rock left after I bought a pair of 12-week old pullets. One just up and died - she didn't act sick but we found her dead one morning. I thought that with four adults and five little kids (two of which have been known to eat a dozen eggs each for breakfast!), we'd better have more than 12 hens - so I bought some "mutts" from a guy up the road a piece. He sold me a RIR rooster and four Wellsomer (sp?) hens. He also sold me seven young OEG pullets. Except for the Wellsomers and the Barred Rock, all of the other pullets are just now getting old enough to lay. The Wellsomers are probably a year or so old, and the Barred Rock is only about three months old. We get an egg every other day or so, probably from the Wellsomers. I can't wait till the rest of the girls start laying! We plan on building a large pen around the henhouse, so we can let the chickens outside. The east side of our henhouse is open, so they get lots of light and air, but I really prefer to see them outside scratching in the dirt like nature intended. The grandkids enjoyed catching grasshoppers for the chickens while the weather was warmer. Now that fall is here - they are picking green grass and clover - the hens really seem to enjoy it. I've looked at a few of the posts in this forum, and am looking forward to learning more about the critters I am once again responsible for!