Hi, I've been visiting this amazing site for a little while now. After I said 'no' to kittens my Husband and 2 children decided to get chickens without even running it by me. Next thing I know we have a coop where my beautiful herbaceus border once was! Initially I wasn't happy as we have a very small garden and I assumed chickens would be noisy, messy a lot of work etc etc.and I have a cat that's quite partial to wildlife. We've now had bantams since April, (silkies, frizzels and polands) now obsessed and in love with every last one of them! They have the whole garden to play in all day and my cat doesn't seem to mind which is a big relief! We've had 2 horrid episodes, one frizzle x poland randomly jumped from her perch, bounced and landed on her head, breaking her neck. My 9yo daughter saw it happen which was heartbreaking as I didn't cover that sort of thing happening when we talked about possible illnesses etc. We also had a silkie die from a nasty respiritory type thing, also heartbreaking but drove home to hubby he shouldn't buy random birds from auctions that don't look all that healthy to start with! Since then had one with an eye that needed attention and impacted crop she's also never laid and I suspect she's a lot older than Hubby was led to believe... My daughter wanted an incubator (brinsea mini eco) for her birthday and we have just used it to hatch ducklings for a friend. I currently have 4 incredibly cute cayuga ducklings, now 2 days old. all 4 hatched the wrong end, one needed help but she's doing fine, 2 didn't hatch and I'm plucking up courage to open them to see why. Can't thank BYC enough for all the helpful advice provided! My plan now is to learn more about hatching and maybe have a go at hatching Silkies (once I've got over recent sleepless nights) I will post some photos just as soon as I've figured out how..