Hi everyone, I have been lurking on this site for awhile and now that I am on maternity leave I have time to actually join this forum. Also, I'm using my maternity leave to dedicate more time to my chicken coop so it would be nice to get some ideas and advice. I got my first set of chicks the November before last so its been a little over a year. I started out with three but one of them died a few months later due to some neurological disorder. The vet couldn't figure it out but he figured it was mereks disease. She basically lost the ability to walk and was constantly open mouth breathing. I treated her with antibiotics for two weeks but in the end the vet recommended euthanasia because she was only getting worse. Then around Christmas time I lost one of my hens to a predator. I had serious pregnancy brain and forgot to close the chicken coop door one night. The next day all I found were bloody feathers in my coop. =(. I felt incredibly guilty for my stupidity but towards the end of my pregnancy I was amazed I could even put my pants on straight, I was that scatter brained. So I ended up buying two pullets a week later. I was introducing them slowly to the remaining hen by keeping them in a dog cage inside of the coop during the day. At night I would put them in the coop and then seperate them again first thing in the morning. It was working out okay actually but then I went into labor and I was in the hospital for three days. We had one of our friends chicken sit and my husband didn't specify any instructions so our friend just left them unattended in the coop with the older hen. Well the night before I was sent home we had our first frost and one of the pullets froze to death and the other had a seriously pecked leg. Not the sight I wanted to see coming home fresh from the hospital with a newborn especially after just having lost the other chicken two weeks prior. =(. To make a long story short, I am going to predator proof my outside run in the next week. Also, I currently have my one pullet living in my kitchen while it recovers from its leg injury. Her leg was practically pecked to the bone, it looked pretty miserable at first. Now she is putting more weight on it and I see new flesh surrounding the scab. My adult hen is still living happily in her coop as an only child but I wonder if I should eventually get another two pullets so that she doesn't try to attack the other hen again when it is time to reintroduce. Wow, that was a long introduction but anyways that's my story! I currently have a silver laced wyandotte and a plymoouth rock (adult hen).