Hi! I've been into chickens for coming on 2 years. How'd I get started? Well, I have a friend who has a horse farm and she had some chickens running around. She didn't really do much with them, just let them be chickens. She didn't even collect their eggs or anything. Around the time that I lost my job, I discovered where they were laying their eggs. My friend said that I could have whatever I found. It was a help. Not long after, a couple dogs that had been dumped on her property killed 3 out of the 5 hens. Since she was letting me take the eggs, I thought that it would be good if I tried to replace some that were lost. I spotted this really pretty stripped young chicken at the local small livestock auction. I bought her and brought her to my friend's farm. She grew and was very friendly. I found myself wondering when she would start laying. It seemed to take forever! I eventually discovered that my "Sarah" was a "Sammy"! Well, we weren't ready for a rooster and my friend's husband didn't appreciate "Sammy's" voice. So I packed up my big BEAUTIFUL rooster and took him back to the auction. I was hoping that he would end up in a good place (I have learned a LOT since this). As the auctioneer's assistant was going through each cage and calling out the contents, I would hear him say "one rooster", "2 small roosters", "another rooster", etc., etc. Then he got to my Sammy. This time he said "a really NICE rooster" . . . let's just say that Sammy's price was high enough that I feel sure that he ended up in a rooster's "heaven on earth". (I do regret selling him, though ) After that expierence, I started looking for a Barred Rock hen (now that I could tell the difference ) There was a matting pair that I bid on, even though I didn't really want the rooster (he just wasn't as pretty as Sammy). So Gracie and Rodney took up residence at the farm. I tried to keep them penned up away from the house, but we had a really heavy snow and their pen was compromised. They started wondering around with the other chickens. This was not such a good thing because Rodney got too close to the dogs , I don't think I need to say any more. After what happened to Rodney, I asked if I could put up some sort of pen by the old hen house. I was given permission and help. So we had a chicken "run". I even put some netting up since there are hawks around. Last Feb. the feed store brought in dayold chicks. They had BRs and EEs. They were supposed to be "guarnteed" hens, so I bought 2 BRs and raised them in my house till they were old enough to bring out to the farm. (I'm not really supposed to have chickens where I live, shhh ). This summer, I worked on the old hen house. I cleaned it out, put in a plexy glass window, and made the chicken door smaller. (It was large enough that the goats could get in and eat the chicken food ) I am very happy with what I was able to do. I'd like to put a new floor in, but that will have to wait till later this year. So, I had my 3 girls, Gracie, Sandy, and Bre, in with my friend's 2 remaining hens and the daughter of one of her hen's (yes, there's an EE rooster, but that's another story ). Everything was fine. Then, one day, when I was feeding horses for my friend, I spotted a reddish hen hanging out in the horse shelter. I immediatly thought that the chicken run had been compromised and that "Momma" had gotten loose. I checked, but all was fine and Momma was in where she belonged. I caught the poor little thing, she was molting and was very thin. I put her in a cage with food and water to make sure she didn't have any other problems other than a scruffy looking molt. I eventually put her in with everyone else. My little "Gypsy" has proven to be a very friendly girl, even friendlier than my BR's! So now you know the story of my girls.