I've been reading things on backyard chickens since I became a chicken owner 3 years ago. I inherited 5 older hens from the former tenant of the old farm house I now live in. I was told they weren't laying any longer but they would be turned out in the fields to be eaten by coyotes if I didn't want them. I knew nothing about having chickens but couldn't stand the idea of them being coyote dinner. I started throwing feed, fruit and veges out to them several times a day and within a week they started laying eggs and I was hooked! The next spring I got chicks from the feed store and increased my flock to 17 hens. All were happy healthy and laying until a neighbor's roaming dogs killed all but 1 of them. I started over the next spring by ordering chicks from Murray McMurray Hatchery. I'll never do that again since several arrived dead and 5 more died within 24 hours. I now have 21 hens and 1 rooster and have had one hen hatch out 2 new chicks. I'm looking forward to all the good info and advice from other chicken lovers on the Backyard Chickens site!