Hello from west-central Georgia near the Flint River! I joined to ask some questions and get feedback. We're trying to not spoil our chicks, but finding it difficult!We've had our chicks for @ 1 month. They're RIR's and they're growing fast--I thought my kids grew like weeds, but this is incredible! We've had 2 snake encounters. The first one we let go. They're just being snakes, after all. But the second time we found a (or the, we suspect) rat-snake in the coop with a huge bulge in its middle, we killed it and my husband fortified the pen with finer-gauge metal hardware-cloth. We'd bought the coop used and it had been built using standard chicken wire. My husband ran hardware cloth along the ground around the perimeter of the coop, and the top is also screened in. Predators will definitely have more difficulty now, though we know even these measures are no guarantee. Now we are down to eight chickens, with 1 male and 7 female (we think). I'm not much on TV, but I could set up a couch beside the pen and watch these antics for hours. I could definitely get behind on chores quickly if I let myself get mesmerized for too long. So, anyway, here to learn from "y'all!" Blessings!