Hey everyone! Just wanted to take a minute to introduce myself. I am not new to chickens as animals, but I am new to raising them for eggs. My dad is a contract grower so I grew up working in those houses. A year ago we decided to start raising chickens so that we could have fresh eggs. I started with 24 eggs in incubators in my classroom. *We were hatching eggs to study the life cycle of a chicken. Turns out all those birds are meat birds so we did the most humane thing we could and butchered them and canned the meat. We then purchased 11 hens and 1 rooster. The first night we didn't prepare well and lost two birds to an owl. After last nights raid by what we think was a bobcat we are down to 8 hens. We now have 1 Aracauna, 2 Buff Orpingtons, 2 Barred Rocks, and 3 Black Australorp. All our hens are laying and have great personalities. I found this site through a search engine and have visited it from time to time but decided today would be a good day to join because I needed help with out predator situation. Although I do not know a whole lot maybe what we have learned through trial and error can help someone.