Hey everybody, it is SO nice to know there is a place to come to ask questions about my chickens & get such great answers from experts & more experienced chicken owners! I am raising my first chickens, I have always wanted some, but this is the first year I actually got some chicks. I bought ten chicks on March 26th from the local feed store. We had a couple of deaths already, one back when they were first becomming pullets & 2 when one of my roosters & one of my hens accidently got into the dog pen. (might I add, I took the 2 dogs off the next day. don't get me wrong, I love all animals, but I love my chickens more & I don't tollerate such violence). Anyway, I have had so many questions and every time I search on Google, this site comes up with answers, so I decided to join! I ended up with 4 roosters & 3 hens. My roosters are: one RIR, one plain white one (i don't know the exact species right now), and 2 bantam mixed, and my hens are: 2 RIR, and one silver-penciled Wyandotte. My hens just started laying on September 7th, 2 weeks ago! SO exciting!! My teenage daughters were really against eating fertilized eggs, so we left them in the nests to see if they would get broody, but they didn't. They 2 RIR hens share a nest, and there got to be 18 eggs in it! So they obviously are not ready yet. Also, the place they decided to lay in is probably too close to the ground, it's a former home-made rabbit cage about 6 inches off of the ground. I have heard they won't brood in a nest that low, idk if that's correct or not. We brought the eggs in (26 in all) and made a home-made incubator out of a cooler & light bulb, hopefully that will work! I started collecting the eggs every day after that, and plan to give them away to family. I am so excited about being a member and talking to all of yall!