I am in the suburbs of a small town in the South Island of New Zealand.
Im realitively new to chickens, although we had a pet bantam years ago, these girls are for eggs. I began with 6 point of lay pullets in July 2008, housed in an 'ark' type coop. The girls free-range over part of my 2/3 acre section - fenced them out of the vege and front garden. the breed is 'Brown shaver' - looks like Rhode Island red, and are bred for egg production, and are used commercially here in NZ for that purpose
They have been good producers, but now into their second season are now down to four - One, the biggest and fattest dropped dead after no sickness or anything. The other one I have just culled after deciding that she was an internal layer. This has really emphasised the reality of looking after creatures!! Im not that great at euthanasia!