I apologize if this is in the wrong location; I was debating between this subforum and managing your flock Anyway, I want to preface this by saying I live in Upstate NY, just south of the Tughill Plateau that's so famous for cold and snow. Thankfully, we have an extra shed the chickens will be able to stay in over the winter, but it's still not a location for any breeds that are going to have issues with the cold. Egg laying isn't as big an issue for me, what's really an issue is cold hardiness, foraging, and temperament. It's very easy to go onto websites and see "docile," "friendly," etc., but it's definitely more helpful to have information firsthand from owners of the breeds. Every chicken is an individual, of course, but I'm hoping to get a better idea of how these hens and roo will fare here? Mostly because I'm not sure what "cold hardy" means specifically for each breed - for example, I would assume a chantecler chicken would be more cold hardy (originating in Canada, after all) than say... an orpington. Yet they all get the same generic "cold hardy," label. I also know that heating a coop is not a good idea and is not a practical solution indefinitely, and can cause more problems than it solves. I don't want to accidentally end up with a breed that I'll inadvertently be putting in a bad situation. So, my breeds are as follows: -Wyandotte (1) -Cochin (2) -Orpington (1) -Australorp (1) -And a white silkie bantam roo. We were unsure about getting a rooster at first, because I've heard that with any less than 10 chickens a standard rooster doesn't work, but I was told that a bantam roo would work better with the standard girls, while also offering similar benefits. We live in an area with predators (I mean, doesn't everyone?), and we live on a big enough property to let the girls free range. I was told that roosters are partially responsible for keeping hens safe while foraging, and will be on the look out. I wanted the extra security upgrade package As stated previously, the girls and roo will have lots of time outside to forage and do chicken things. We've got lots of open area and lots of woods for shade and grubs! My main questions are these: 1. Are these breeds all what you would consider "friendly," in the sense of being handled? Not liking being handled is one thing, and understandable!, but being people-aggressive or impossible to catch is another thing altogether. 2. Are these breeds all suitable for the snow and cold of upstate NY? 2.1 Are these breeds capable of handling the humidity of upstate NY? It gets incredibly humid here in the summer, sometimes 90% humidity or more, and although I can take steps to make them cooler, once again I don't want to make any breed suffer unnecessarily if there are better breeds out there for my purposes. 3. Will my Silkie Bantam be okay with just 5 standard girls?