Hi Everyone. I've been looking in on the site fairly regularly since getting my two hens as a present for Father's day, 18th June here in England. I was told at the time they are Rhode Island Red X Buff Orpington. I've enjoyed browsing the forum pages and have learnt so much while doing so, I felt it only right I should Join properly so I can at least say thank you, and hopefully contribute to other posts in the future. I was a complete newcomer to keeping chickens before I discovered BYC and wanted to make sure I was going to look after my girls properly while also giving them the best life I could so I did the research as soon as I heard from my partner what the children had in mind as a present. They have the free range of my enclosed rear garden which measures 50' x 40' and a warm dry hen house with an automatic door set to open and close at sunrise and sunset. A great surprise I had was to find out how tame hens can become. My two squabble for the best place on my knee when I sit on my patio chair and will follow me about the garden all day. I had no idea what to expect regarding egg production, the only thing the farmer told me was " if they're happy they'll start laying in a few weeks, but expect them to stop late December until late February " They laid their first eggs on August 3rd and I haven't had an egg less day since. Although there has been an odd occasion when I could only find one egg, most days there's one in each nest box. Both eggs are also very big, much larger than Jumbo supermarket eggs, so if the farmer is right, at least I can deduce my Mabel and June are happy enough with their lot. My grown up children who were behind the Father's day gift, think I've now gone 'chicken mad' but since discovering BYC, at least I know I'm not the only one. So a big heart felt thanks to everyone at BYC for everything up to now, a great learning curve, and I know lots more help in the future. Casso.