Hi. So we finally dove in, we got a small coop with 3 pullets from a nice lady who found her daughter was allergic! We re-named them( they are red sexlinks...look like RIR) and they started laying about 2 months after we got them. It was neat to be able to figure out who laid which egg, by the color of the shell. These are now named Peaches, Penny and Emily. We had planned to get chicks, so about two weeks after we got the girls, we got 6 couple-day old chicks. Took forever to name those. One in particular was "mine" to name, and she was the most aggressive of the bunch when I came out with scraps so I named her MeToo (as in, food....ME TOO!!) and then I figured out why she was so assertive when she attempted her first crow....LOL, she is now Elvis! Now he is pretty good at crowing, and all the chicks are kept in line by him. They are about 4 months old. My girls wanted Americauna's and the store had none, but a week after the first batch I found some...so I surprised them with 3. They are too cute with the little tufts at their cheeks! one is white with black (Chubby) one is tan with black (Budget, as in fuss-budget cuz she complained the most when picked up, also mine) and the third is reddish with black (ChickenHawk). I took daily pics for a while, then weekly. The original 6 are Elvis the Rooster and Tippy, both black australorps; Speckled somethings are named Midnight and SaltnPepper; Chuckles the black cochin; and Lemonade the Buff Orpington (and the most docile). Lemonade was held, cuddled, carried, and babied by my 13 yr old DD and still she can lay that chicken on it's side in her hands and it just sits there. Elvis, our bonus Rooster, showed a bit of aggression towards me today for the first time while I was prepping for bedtime...he went after my toes and pants. Little jerk. I hold him plenty, and touch his wattles and feet and whatnot to ensure I will always be able to handle him. We enjoyed the chicks and chickens so much that when they were about 2 months old (and 6 months and laying) that we chose ducklings too. We got 14. I ordered 12. They all lived. Wow. THey are MESSY. I love to hear them foraging in the grass first thing in the morning and just before bed, they talk constantly and then the talk goes to a muffled roar while the forage. Amazing how they took to their first bath! They come running when I put scraps in the baby pool now, but they are very skittish around all upright people still. A couple will come close, then eyeball me, waiting for me to back up. We are pretty sure we have 4 Cayuga's one male 3 female, 2 female Blue Swedish, 4 Rouen's (one is male for sure, but the other who knows?) 2 Mallards one male, one female(those were the bonus ones, cuz I didn't want ones that fly!) and two called Golden Hybrid 300's that are supposed to be superior layers. The Mallards have their back toes snipped at the "factory" so that is how I am sure about them. Plus I have seen both fly, and it is beautiful, but I will have to clip wings...dogs all around us. I have noticed 2 of the females scream the loudest, they must be the alarms of the flock. The boys I have picked out based on the lack of quack. We keep the babies in a shed for now, and they are free ranged all day long. We are rebuilding an older coop that was used by my father in law( it was destined for teardown...until we decided to raise the roof). So DH pulled off the whole top after I pulled up the roofing materials...and then he build new trusses and 2 foot walls to add to the top. Now the Plywood needs to be put up when the rain quits long enough to actually put the roofing materials back on. It now has a doorway that we don't have to crouch for, and I have my nesting and perching area's all figured out. Darn this rain! I love reading the tips and quips on this site so much that I wanted to join, and learn and explore. So far I love the chicken world. My ducks frustrate me cuz I have been the main caretaker and provider of food etc, and they still have not accepted me cuz the imprinted with each other. I am glad that I got them when I did, so all the babies have been together most of their lives, even though they sleep separately they forage together and run from the "girls" together. (i am just being honest, and no, I am NOT getting rid of them cuz they are too cute) I have plenty more, but this is all for now.