I have just joined BackYard Chickens..should have joined sooner though. Here is a little about me..and my daughter, and how we have really gotten into the chickens.. and ducks. Cant forget our ducks!! We have owned chickens on and off since 2005, when my daughter's friend kindly gave her her 1st chick, for her 5th birthday. Tubby was a Cornish Cross hen who lived to the ripe old age of 3, when she started having seizures and died 3 days later. We have lived in Middleton, ID for almost 5 years now (since 2009) and this is where we have really gotten Chicken..and Duck Fever. I wanted Dual Purpose Chickens..my daughter wanted another 'Tubby" , just a very friendly white chicken, but sadly she never really got another Tubby. Just a nice White Rock hen she named Whitey. I started getting some different breeds, trying to find what I liked. But nothing I got from the hatcheries, had meat on their bones. A couple of people told me, you had to cross breed in order to get anything. So I began doing more and more research about chickens and the different breeds, and began a breeding program of my own in 2011. After 3 years of breeding for the meat quality I was looking for in a good Dual Purpose Bird, I achieved what I wanted and they also have a really nice friendly personality. But because I was getting Hatchery Stock birds to began with, I was always running into a tight gene pool, because more then half of the birds I got did not meet My standards for breeding or had some type of genetic issue. Last year I decided to get some quality birds and ordered from Sand Hill Preservation Center. I ordered Speckled and Red Sussex. And to see what the breed was like, I ordered some S. G. Dorkings from McMurray Hatchery. Sand Hill had a bad year, but did send me 7 Red Sussex and 2 Speckled Sussex, but lost one chick in shipping, So I ended up with 7 Red and 1 Speckled..or so I though. Turns out the Speckled is actually a Welsummer. Even though I have nothing to breed him w/right I am going to Cornelius and get some Welsummer hens.. and The Dorking I ordered form McMurray Hatchery, well I ordered 3 cockerels and 5 pullets, lost one pullet from shipping, lost a second pullet a week or so later?? and one pullet at about 5-6 weeks. Out of the 2 I have left..one is worth breeding and other had legs issues to began with, and now she has a hernia on back of her neck. Lucky for her, she is my daughter's "pet" hen. With the 3 cockerels.. I literally had small (hen size), medium and large..So Jack Frost got live and other 2 are dinner now. WE have decided to call our selves Blind Duck Poultry (there is a story behind this) and Now we will be preserving the Red and Silver Grey Dorking, as we love this breed. I haven't quit decided on the Red Sussex, or the Welsummer as I like both breeds, at least Cornelius anyway..and I am going to get some Basques Chickens to see how I/we like them. My daughter is also raising Belgium d' Anver banties too and we only have a measly 1/2 acre. Our Ducks: the 2 three year old are a Buff Orpinton Duck named Fawn, a Khaki Campbell Duck named Gracie. the younger ducks are 2 Anconas (Drake and Duck), Drip and Splash. 3 Muscovy (2 ducks and drake) Scovy, Daisy and Scrooge. 3 cross breeds which are Appleyard/Welsh Harlequin, ( 2 ducks and a drake) Cinnamon, Fluffy and Daffy. These 3 Duck I refer to as Sand Hill Ducks. They came from Sand Hill Preservation, as 'warm bodies" and I really like the way they turned out.. So I am going to work on improving them.