Hi, my names Carisa and this is my first time owning anything other than a dog or cat. This chicken idea was that of my husband and a friends. Our friend lives outside of town and thought we could keep them out there. We got our first set of birds a few months ago when they appeared in farm supply stores. We started with 13, then they were left outside during a big storm and we lost all but 3. Those were replaced and we had a total of 21! Already we've had our fair share of learning. One of our broilers had a problem with her crop. While we never quite figured out exactly what was going on we did treat it several different ways and ended up re-introducing her to the flock maybe a month ago after being separated for around 3 weeks. We also had a chick with pasty butt, that was fairly easy to treat. Our most recent learning experience was today. This morning I went out to take care of the ladies and we lost a third of our flock to a predator. only 3 bodies were in the run, there are 14 remaining alive and the others are no where to be seen. We had not been cooping them up at night because our friend/chicken partner decided he's not helping anymore and we live too far away to come out all the time. Well I took the time today to re-enforce the coop (it was pretty shoddy) and now we have a chicken door that locks and we will just have to take the time to coop them up at night. Within the next few weeks we will be living closer to them so this should not be a problem much longer. I'll be asking lots of questions so I can learn from the pros! This is definatly a different experience that cats and dogs!