Hello all! I'm just joining after almost two years of reading the blogs here to answer questions I've had while learning how to raise the chickens and ducks that I've come to be quite attached to. I'm sure I've made a share of mistakes along the way so far, but I have avoided quite a few by reading posts here, so thank you all for your wealth of experiences. My husband and I started our flock with two ducklings that our kids brought home one weekend, leading to two more within the next week. Before the 10th day, we added 6 sexed female chicks. As we were starting our journey with them, I had done some research on chicken breeds and decided that I had to have silkies. I ended up coming home with a mixed dozen and except for 2 silkies, I had no idea what we had. We've had a nearly frozen bantam that I nursed back to health, 3 broodie hens and one broody duck this summer, an encounter with a raccoon that took a few of our babies and left a momma barely hanging on.... We'd originally thought that all of Momma's babies were lost but two had escaped the fate of their siblings (we still do not know where or how) but we are convinced that it was their survival that healed their mother. Our current flock consists of 22 chickens (6 of which are roosters) and 4 ducks (3 drakes : o ). I guess I shouldn't omit the baby bunnies that we've raised since saving them from our fire pit over Labor Day weekend and our original dog and cat (imagine what they must think) who have adapted to their surrogate family quite nicely. I'm currently scouting the news feeds on winter broodies. One of our young bantam/silkie mixes is on a clutch. She hatched early this summer so I thought it was too soon on top of our temperatures in SE Pennsylvania dropping before freezing more often than not. I have not determined how many eggs she's on yet. I inadvertently disturbed her yesterday to be on the recieving end of her warning hiss. I look forward to being a part of this community!