Hi! I'm Nichole... even if it seems like my username could be a first name. I use it as my username frequently. Kyanite is mineral that has a beautiful blue bladed crystal form. I'm a bit of a geology nut, an Army Veteran, and finally a chicken owner.... again. Kinda, if childhood counts as previous experience! lol I grew up with all sorts of critters. We had horses, goats, chickens, geese, ducks, rabbits, a pig. You get the idea. I was a country girl. Then I joined the Army, got married, had a kid and got stuck with city life for too many years. Fast forward and I'm now a country girl again! Yay! The property hubby and I bought last summer had a coop that needed a bit of TLC, so we've been giving it that while our little chicks spend some time in their brooder. We really just wanted a variety of layers suited to our area (Idaho), and weren't particular about them having to be breeding stock or anything of the sort. Although I'd definitely be interested in a breeding operation down the road, we really just wanted to get into the swing of things before we go jumping WAY in. So, we headed to our local CAL Ranch store and bought 5 Easter Eggers (marked as Araucana of course), 5 Black Australorps, and 5 Sliver Laced Wyandottes. We lost one of the Wyandottes after a week, but everyone else was just fine. Seemed like a fluke, "failure to thrive" kind of thing. We've had them exactly 4 weeks and they are so ready to head to the coop. Now if the weather would stop throwing 30 degree nights at us! Oh, and I pegged one of our little Australorps as a possible roo somewhere around week 2. Little guy was so much smaller than the others and wings feathers were shorter. We began calling "him" Stumpy. Then the Australorps began getting tail feathers and poor Stumpy was a full week and a half behind his sisters. Now the combs are starting to show and I think all doubt has been removed. But, thus far Stumpy is the only once really showing cockerel signs, so 1 out of 15 from the feed store, not bad I say if that holds!