Hi there. I've come to this forum any time I had a question or needed info ever since I first started raising chickens over a year ago. I finally decided that I should probably join up because I was always coming here so much. I'm a 30 something person who loves birds, especially dorky little chickens. I've been an artist for lots of years but have recently started to go back to school to work in med tech. I was raised with chickens around, but never took the task on myself as an adult until recently. It's been a pretty satisfying experience (and great eggs don't hurt either!) My family and I started our flock with some Rhode Island Reds, Araucanas, Speckled Sussex, and White Leghorns. We also had a Cayuga duck and what was supposed to be a Blue Indian Runner duck and was maybe more just a mystery duck. She had a giant fluff on top of her head that looked like her brain on the outside so we called her "Pompaduck". Unfortunately, last month, the neighbor's dogs tore through our defenses and killed all but one duck and one chicken. It was a terrible thing and actually really caught me by surprise because I didn't know dogs could do something like that! Clearly I've learned now, but I wonder if I might have known about the possibility if I'd been on the forum before. This is certainly a place where anything that could happen can be found here, along with advice, so maybe I'd have known to be wary of the dogs from the get-go. I suppose I'm hoping to be more proactive and more educated about chickens and backyard farming by getting onto the forums here. The neighbors are compensating us for our losses and have built a whole new fence for their house and we are installing a whole new setup. A friend (who has recently suffered some hungry forest predators on her farm) said her friends are donating eggs for the two of us to help us get back on our feet and build up a flock again. I'm really looking forward to getting to hold some baby chicks again and am very excited about the kindness and generosity of other chicken enthusiasts. : ) Nice to meet you all!