Hello, my name is Katie. I had chickens when I was a kid and just started raising them last September. We bought Cornish Cross and Black Australorps. Our experience was that the Australorps were a hardier bird in that we didn't lose a single one as a peep. Unfortunately, we lost about four of our Cornish Cross before we even had a chance to let them outside. We free-ranged them from about 8 - 10 weeks, give or take. Over the next few months we lost several more chickens to midnight prowlers and a terminally ill chicken-eating dog we inherited. Then we learned that our landlord filed bankruptcy and so our home will be auctioned off in April. So we decided it was time to wrap up our chicken adventures. We sold what was left of our Australorps and ate the remaining Cornish Crosses. Out of this we have learned that free-ranging is going to have to be restricted. While I realize that there will be a certain margin of mortality, I feel that they would have fared much better had they been more protected. Also, the Cornish Crosses seemed to be easy targets because they are white and very easy to spot whereas the Australorps were more difficult to find because they blended well with the shadows. We have taken this opportunity to move across the country to a warmer climate and start over. We will not be free ranging again but can't wait to get back into it. We dearly miss our girls.