Hi, I am a true beginner at this chicken thing. I wanted a rooster to hang out with my horses and help with bug control. I live in the Tug hill region of NY and get lots of snow. 12 feet in February is common. I need hardy animals. I bought a sumatra rooster and was convinced that he needed a hen to keep him company. They made it through the winter just fine and my husband (who wasn't fond of the whole chickenthing at the start) said "I think we need a few more." Well let me tell you.. that's all it took. I was on a do or die mission to find another few sumatra hens. I found a farm 2 hours away that would sell me 12 chicks for $75. I paid with PayPal and waited three weeks. Drove two hours to be told that something had eaten them the night before. I continued my search...meanwhile my sumatra hen is laying an egg every other day but showing no interest in setting. I happened across an ad for 5 pullets of different breeds. I grabbed them up and fell in love with them.(one is a brahma roo). As soon as I released them here..my sumatra hen started setting. She had 14 eggs. Some of them were more than 3 weeks old. Her rooster was preoccupied with his new girls and left her alone. Two days ago, she hatched 14 little puffballs. I still can't believe it. They all seem healthy. There are 2 that seem to have thin feathers / fur on thier backs. So here I am after wanting A ROOSTER to sit on the fence and look pretty, to having 21 chickens 8 mos. later..??? Luckily..I love eggs and am an avid gardener with never enough fertilizer. And I love my darn chickens!