We are finally going to get chicks for our backyard as pets & egg layers. We live in Alabama and have hot summers & cold winters. We are leaning towards these breeds: sussex, australorp, RIR, barred rocks, delawares. We'd like a mix of breeds so are all of these good in both types of weathers, friendly and good egg layers? Also, since we're just starting out is it better to get baby chicks or adults? We like the idea of babies & developing bonds with them at such an early age but still wondering which is better? Also we both work full time day shifts & are gone for 8 to 10 hrs a day so is there a way to raise baby chicks in a brooder while working full time & no one at home? Is there a way of supplying heat for them which won't be dangerous to leave on while we're gone? Our chickens are going to be fenced in free range. We're fencing in an area of our yard that will be at least 50x50 (2500 sq ft). What's the best diet for healthy birds? And if we do decide to sell eggs at a farmer's market are there any requirements we need to meet first? Inspections, licenses, etc? Thanks guys!! Any & all other advice that you can think of would be great!! Oh, how many would you suggest we start off with? We were thinking about 15 or so hens & 1 rooster. Or should we just get hens for now & then a rooster down the road? And if we do go with baby chicks (or if you guys think there's a way we could) what age can we put them in the pen with the older ones?