I am fairly new to raising chickens on my own although I grew up on a homestead and we had chickens for as long as I remember. Then I pursued a career in the concert hall and university teaching for half of my life. Now I am back to my roots after purchasing 1.5 acres of land on the country side. I got my first chickens this March, then I made a couple of later purchases, totaling 46 out of which I am left now in September with 39 due to various issues. I have three distinct breeds, however the farmers I got them from could not tell me what they were aside from the fact that "they are some nasty hybrids" from a factory farm. I got them for laying eggs so they are fairly small (red, yellow, black, multicolored and white-spotted blacks). I initially wanted Brahma but the ones I got this time around were the only ones available in the area and I decided I will learn with them what I really want and what would be best for my set-up. I simply love chickens, I enjoy everything about them and my neighbors are saying that I have the best-looking chickens in the village. As I purchased three different generations I had a lot of trouble with them but now we have finally arrived at harmony. This, of course, after two of them got cannibalized in a frenzy by their peers, two insisted sneaking themselves up the feeder tubes until they perished suffocated, one got taken by a hawk, one broke a leg, a few won't grow any feathers (although I feed them really well) and two cannot use one of their legs any longer, although I could not find out why. I took them to the veterinarian but the only solution he has for any chicken is "soup". So I am still looking to figure out what has happened to them, maybe I can help them heal. The eggs are amazingly good, I tested them in various ways and treating the chicken right both with proper nutrition and affection had some pretty impressive results. My new 3-month old Romanian Shepherd is super chill with them and they with her. However, since there cannot be a homestead without a cat, they are coming next week (orange and tiger-stripe black&brown). I teach online now, so I can develop my little farm while I maintaining a university teaching job although my life-long career is that of a composer. I had a blast with that chicken I found on youtube playing the national anthem. ever since I had mine treated with music as well. I found BYC trying to find an answer to why my dog eats "on both sides of the chickens", I mean not only the chicken feed but also their poop, no matter how well I feed her (and I do). I am in the process of building a super-duper chicken coop as I plan on acquiring new certified breeds and I am happy to find a community of hopefully like-minded people or at least with similar interests as I need some advice on the many variables regarding raising happy chickens. Thank you for having me.