Hello! We are so excited to be a part of BackYard Chickens! We live in South Florida and have one Speckled Sussex rooster, one Olive Egger rooster, seven Red Star hens, and six Easter Egger hens. We have a beautiful 4x8 red and white coop, and a 8x10 run. We rented a small excavator and dug a two foot deep/two foot wide trench and wrapped our run with wire cloth down into the ground and skirted it out AND put concrete blocks all around before we filled the dirt back in! We've heard plenty of stories of predators and didn't want to take any chances. Our chickens are about five months old, and our Red Stars just began laying about two weeks ago! No eggs yet from our Easter Eggers, but their faces are getting more red and their combs are finally developing. Besides grit, food, and water, what else do my chickens need? They mostly free range and roost themselves in the evening. Several days a week when we are not at home they are confined to their run. Do Easter Eggers carry a blue gene? I know we aren't guaranteed to get blue eggs with Easter Eggers, but we would like to eventually let a Easter Egger hen sit on a clutch of eggs, and depending on which rooster we allow to fertilize the eggs, will the blue gene be 'gone'? We would like a nice range of colors. Does anyone out there have a Speckled Sussex rooster crossed with an Easter Egger? Speckled Sussex rooster crossed with a Red Star? Same but with an Olive Egger rooster? I wrote a lot in a single post! I may need to post individual threads based on each of these topics. But hello to all, and any beginner advice would be much welcomed and appreciated!