Hi to everyone. I see most of you are USA based but I thought you may like some input from a new chicken lover from Oz. I recently bought 8 various heritage breed chicks. Over here unless you're buying commercial layers there's no guarantee you'll get hens. My first 8 chicks, 1 Sussex, 3 RIR, 2 AL and 2 anconas. They grew beautifully and quickly. At 16 weeks 1 of my Ancona and my RIR started crowing. I sent photos of each of my birds to the breeder and turned out 4 were Roos. I was gutted, half my flock had to be returned as local laws forbid Roos. So I took the rood back and came home with 6 four week old chick. On the 2nd night a visiting scrub python helped himself to a $15 chicken dinner. The snakes here in Spring are thick on the ground so I moved the chicks into a cage inside the main coop (should have done this in the beginning but lack of experience I guess). They are now 9 weeks old so as soon as they get just a bit bigger I'll let them run together. I find BYC has been an invaluable resource for an 'L' plater like me. Also got my first egg from one if my RIR's yesterday. She's just turned 20 weeks. With all the ruckus you would think she was passing a BMW. Couldn't find a car but found the egg, small and she laid it up high so it fell down and broke. My girls free range after lunch each day and are learning the 'no go' zones as I'm teaching them with a double clap the wrong spots. As soon as they hear the double clap they take off like the wind up to the back of the yard. They're surprising smart. I now have in total 9 birds. I just hope none of the new chicks turn out to be Roos. Will post some pics in the future. Hope you enjoyed hearing from Oz.