Howdy! I'm shiny new to BYC, and a novice, 23-yo chicken-keeper from Ohio. I'm inexperienced, but finding out more and more through research that chickens are pretty common sense. And through experience, I'm learning how sweet and hilarious they can be. I remember when I was much younger, I got attacked by a peeved rooster or two in the span of a few years and kind of kept my distance for most of my younger life assuming chickens were all as temperamental. We ended up moving from the middle of the country to suburbia a few years ago when my parents got divorced and my grandma got diagnosed with Dementia--and it's taken me this long to get fed up to the point where I had to bring a little bit of country back to our lives. So I decided on chickens after going out to a farm my cousin works at and finally met the right chickens that made me want to raise a flock of my own. Was in 4-H and FFA in school--had animals my whole life, some much larger, some smaller. I know that doesn't qualify me in any way, shape, or form, but the advice some experienced chicken folk have given me kind of makes me wonder about the inexperienced people they've met before. And I feel fairly confident that if those silly people can do it, I can probably manage not to kill my entire first flock in their first year. Hopefully! My girls are very much family pets--I only got to name two of the nine. Everyone would be upset. I was pretty peeved when we lost one of my Buff Orpington girls (Nugget) right off the bat to an infection. Started the others off with a full course of oxytetracycline. Kept another full course for my emergency kit. But that already sucked. Our other Orpington, Nachos, seems to be doing very, very well though. All of them seem to be thriving. There's one that's taking her sweet, sweet time feathering out, but now that I think I know what she is, I'm not as worried. Sitting outside in my tarp-covered, re-purposed dog-pen with them at the moment. Today we're learning about rain. Off work today, so we're taking the opportunity to sit outside during the morning. It's so funny, when ever the wind blows and the tree above the tarp drops lots of water, a few of them coo and run around while the more confident ones don't even look up. I love these guys. They're already loads of fun. Lolth, Easter Egger (pictured) Cookie, Barred Plymouth Rock (She's the original "Noodles", but my 5-yo brother insisted she looked more like a "Cookie") So, I'll be Noodlez! Nachos Belle Grande, Buff Orpington Chickity Chick-Chick, Easter Egger Ryuk, Delaware Launchpad McCluck, Dark Cornish--wishing she'd keep her eyebrows! And we have two random late-bloomers, but I think I've figured them out now. I think Stitch is a Dominique (in the right corner, above). She's the only one that isn't almost completely feathered out at 4 weeks. And Smokey is looking like some kind of Easter Egger. She started off looking identical to Nachos--even in exceptional sweetness, except a black stripe on her head. Now she's rust-red goofball. . Well, that's a little about me and my flock. Sorry if I bored you too much and thank you for your time. I'd be very interested to know if anyone has any clue about what Stitch or Smokey may be, or other suggestions in general for a novice keeper. I'll be lurking around, harassing experienced keepers for advice, and trying to absorb all that I can. If Cookie stops pooping on my chicken books! Yours truly, "Noodlez"