As you probably can guess, my name is Rick. I have been lurking almost daily since April 2016. I must say thank you you to all the great contributors here at BYC and also to the forum owner! BYC is about the nicest layed out board I have come across and have joined. I come from mostly "automobile" related boards. I have a tendency to have diarrhea of the fingers (and mouth) when I start talking about our chickens ! My wife Joyce of 24 years and our 3 daughters Brooke (almost 12), Brianna (8) and our little surprise Bridget (6) live on a quaint little street. Sharing the street with 5 of the best neighbors that all own about 4 acres each. I have always wanted to have a couple of Peacocks roaming our property, Joyce had mentioned that they can be quite loud and put an end to my Peacock thoughts. And now the rest of the story: Bridget our little 6 year old had asked the Easter Bunny last year for "peeps". I would say that our EB got his wires crossed, but in this case he got his ears crossed . Bridget meant she wanted the marshmellow peeps. Easter morning, Little Bridget awoke to find a large plastic tub in our living room near our fireplace. She ran downstairs to see what was in the tub, lo' and behold, the EB did indeed bring "peeps", 6 little day old RIR pullet peeps! I heard he picked them up from TSC on his way to our house. The high pitched squeals led mommy and daddy to believe that someone was very excited, then there was another squeal and finally a third, I am surprised our "peeps" hear me call them to this day. When the "peeps" started to out grow the large plastic tub, Big Bird Rick went on Craigslist found an inexpensive crib, wrapped it in 1/4" hardware cloth. Constructed an 8" deep 3/4" plywood removable base, covered with ice guard. I added a couple of perches as well. Our girls seemed to like it very much. We had more visitors coming over to meet the new additions to our family, mainly no one could believe that we were raising six "peeps" in our family room. As they grew, we decided to move the girls out to our garage, the nights in S.C. were still a bit chilly. I constructed their permanent home what is now refereed to as the "Chickmore Estate", play on words of the Biltmore Estate in N.C. I will add the "Chickmore Estate" pictures to the proper sub directory. Our plan was to allow our girls to "open pasture" rather than to free range, basically from about 9:00 am until they put themselves to roost. Well that idea did not last to long as one of our neighbors said the chickens were flying over the wire mesh fence around their backyard and the girls were scratching up her flower beds. Now the neighbor stated she had fun watching our girls, but she did like to have flowers too. I tried different ideas to keep the girls on our 4 acres, (whoever said a chicken is dumb must not have had them as pets) they figured away around everything to divert them away from the neighbors flower gardens. I then added a 20' x 20' by 6' tall "morning pen". It is an enclosed open air "play pen" that has perches, a swing and a sand dusting area. I keep them in the morning pen and Chickmore until about 2:00 pm everyday. They don't like not being "open pastured" all day but non the less they have it pretty good. I found this the ideal time to let the open pasture our yard and they tend not to enter into anyone else's yards. (Swinging) One Sunday a couple weeks ago it was very busy around here, I was blowing large leaf piles everywhere for the "girls" to play in. Our daughters each had a couple friends over playing in the front yard and also in the back acreage, lots of noise to keep predators away. Our Doberman puppy was busy scratching along side of her "feathered" sisters. I generally do a roll call several times a day when the girls are busy open pasturing. I must say, I built the Chickmore Estate impenetrable, per lots and lots of reading here. Well, while all the girls were outside playing, I did a roll call and only 5 of our girls lifted their skirts (as Joyce calls it) and came running for a head count. Yep we lost one, we looked and looked not one feather anywhere.I later come to find out one of our neighbors dogs had ran through its invisible fence and snatched one , the dog is now fenced in! Oh the "feathered girls" had way much more fun in the leaf piles than my daughters and their friends! (Look closely at top of leaf pile) Our girls started laying around 5 months old and been shooting eggs out like crazy. Some of them 2 eggs in a 24 hour period. I know, I know but some fellow members have the same experience here at BYC. I was going to give myself the screen name as "OfficialButtRubber" but I did not think that would fly with the moderators here. Get your minds out of the gutter..... Since we do not have a roo here, I take its place. When I lock up the girls in the Chickmore Estate at night, the pecking order lines up and each bird gets a butt rub, with their tail feathers between my ring and middle fingers, they LOVE it, they also line up in the afternoon when coming out of the morning pen. Also, they have a gourmet meal served to them every morning. I have gone to our local grocery stores talked with the Produce Managers, have shown pictures of what I feed our girls every morning. They sell me a large box of fruits and veggies that are "ahem" no longer good for sale for human consumption, oh at $4.00 a box twice sometimes 3 days a week. (On cold mornings I warm up previously baked potatoes to help warm the girls little tummies!) (We now fill the ice cream cones with meal worms and BOSS, then fill with bacon grease. The girls love, love love this little treat!) Welp, thats about all I have. Thank you for having me!!