I've been raising chickens for 16 months now, and sincerely thank the BYC community for the wealth of knowledge available here. I have learned how to break a broody hen (48hrs. in wire-bottomed cage worked great!), how to save a hen (with what might have been prolapse- egg was stuck to cloaca and external--- repeated warm soak-and-massage worked great) and many more. Probably the most fun has been constructing a homemade automatic door (worked great) and 2 automatic feeders (worked abysmally bad---better luck this year!). I now have 27 laying hens and must cut down to 15-20 soon. Too many eggs and high feed bills. The chickens were an attempt to create garden space from extra lawn, and that too has worked great. Next spring I can double the garden!