We have a small flock of black australorps -- 20 hens and 1 magnificent rooster named Jasper. We bought 25, got 26, ate 3 roosters and had two hens die. They will be 2 years old this summer. They are picking up on the laying for the season, with 14 brown eggs yesterday, eleven the day before. Varies from 7 to 14 now. They have a roomy pen, but I do not let them out to tear up my flowers and garden. Last year when they were younger, a couple of them escaped and spent a day rearranging the potato sets that were placed under straw. They dropped to as low as 2 eggs one winter day, but have kept some going all winter, which has been mild. Last winter, their first to lay, they never let up once they started at 5 months. We live in the Missouri Ozarks, so we bought the last hatch at CackleHatchery and picked them up 07/2010. They were fledged and ready for cold weather and have been going strong ever since. We expected heavier hens, but they flew when younger just like my mother's leghorns. Jasper isn't always aggressive, but we watch him. We played with them from day one and they have no fear (or respect). I do vermicomposting, so they got a treat of worms yesterday. I don't do that very often because it seems to make Jasper dissatisfied with the chickweed, henbit and clover that I usually pick for them. I have gotten the newsletter for awhile and actually had an account long ago, but couldn't find it this morning. So I started all over. The chickens are all different from the ones I had before.