Hi! I bought 8 baby chicks about weeks ago. Black barred. I was stressed out because the hatchery gave me 9. I aid for 8. The messages was clear: I got a mulligan one will die. Either because I'm an obvious newbie or there's always a runt. Well all my ladies are still alive! So the rare ones... I bought some golden spangled appenzeller spitzhauben! And 2 silver. Hope for a roo. I'll probably outmode the barred one day. But they're my layers. Gold roos are just so gorgeous. They are straight run only so I'll have to keep buying them in case they're all female ha. Barred love their brooder but I read that appys love flying and free ranging. So I hope free range is fine for my pullets who love being in. Hubby and I are building what looks like a luxury suite for them! Almost done. It's on wheels but we'll remove them once we figure out if we are doing free range or run style. We have twin cats that do not attack since they only like to attack things about 1/10th their size. They are still technically kittens and turn one in July. Hopefully their good behavior keeps up. They are great mousers (so no getting into the feed) and when I let the hens out they peck ticks. Even off the cats paw. So hopefully they realize how symbiotic they are. Wish me luck! I've lost 0 out of 14 yay. My nearest neighbor is about a quarter mile away. Out front yard is 2 acres, backyard 3, 35 acres of forest behind that. They won't go into the forest right? Cross the neighbors barb wire line. No fence just the wire marking property line.