Ok. I have a good friend who's fixin to start her first flock. She hasn't even gotten the first bird yet & everybody's telling her what to do about it. Most never owned a chicken in their life, but have "heard" what you need to do. So the million dollar question is"Should she get a rooster?" She thinks she'd like to get one, but with all the nay-saying pressure she's feeling unsure now. They will be housed in the Fort Knox of chicken pens most of the day, but will be let out to free-range (mostly supervised) daily in their semi-rural area of open fields. At night they are inside the super-security coop inside the Fort Knox pen. (Among the animals sighted there - foxes, hawks, boars, possums, skunks, etc.) The chickens are for laying, & don't need to be fertilized, although it might be cool just for the experience if a girl did happen to go broody. Also would like the potential roo to be friendly & nice to his 4-6 girls - not mean as a snake! I myself have a big sweet Cochin boy who sings loveydovey egg-laying songs & shows the girls how to make/set on a nest, so I'm pro-roo! LOL But I tell her to absolutely do what SHE wants for her own experience. So, I guess the options are to get a large, gentle breed roo - BO, Cochin, Brahma, etc. , get a bantam roo, or no roo? Please chime in with your advice, experiences, etc. in these situations or suggest other ideas! Thanks so much for your help!