Hi all! I've perused this website and gotten lots of great info from it since I got my chickens about 32 weeks ago - I guess that makes them eight months old. Decided it was time to join. Not sure where I'm supposed to go from here - but I'm sure I'll have a good time figuring it out! Sorry..I got a bit ahead of myself and did not follow protocol. I'll start (again) by answering the template questions. (1) Are you new to chickens / when did you first get chickens? As I stated above, my chickens are 32 weeks old. This is our first batch of chickens and mostly my hubbie and I feel that we're getting pretty good with this whole chickens-in-the-backyard thing even with both of us being born and raised city-folk. (2) How many chickens do you have right now? Right now, we have 12. We started out with 18; but lost two (literally, it was there in the morning and gone at bed-time) one when they were only about 8 weeks old and then the other last week. One was chased away by our neighbour's dog about six weeks ago; two roosters have been dispatched to our stewing pot; and one we found dead in the coop. That one I'm quite distraught over. She was such a sweetie. And I still don't know what happened to her. But my husband and I tore the coop apart, replaced the bedding, cleaned it all, and then put it all back together again. And (touch wood here) all seems to be okay with the rest of them. 3) What breeds do you have? We have three Silver Dorkings, five Welsummers, and four Black Minorcas. (4) How did you find out about BackYardChickens.com? I was surfing the net looking for something having to do with building a coop and happened across your website. Any time I have a question about something going on with my flock, I always ended up back here so I thought that maybe I should just join! (5) What are some of your other hobbies? I love gardening, reading, learning, watching, and most times (hehe) I love being a mom. I've got three boys, a girl, about 10 cats, a dog, my flock as mentioned above, and of course, my partner-in-life. I'm a Chartered Herbalist currently and am looking to further my career in that area. My husband and I are striving for self-sufficiency and have started with chickens! The gardens actually came first..but our first animals are the chickens. We're very environmentally friendly and hope we are doing our part (and then some, too). I think that's about it for now. If I think of anything else, I'll be sure to put it on here. Looking forward to furthering my knowledge base regarding these most interesting, entertaining, and useful creatures; and to sharing some lovely anecdotes along the way.