Help! Tell me what to get! Posting for the 1st time. I've convinced my SO that we NEED chickens. I've raised and fostered some chicks, been around lots of barn chickens, but have not had an adult flock of my own ever. I'm about to order some chicks and I have eccentric taste and I need to be steered from making a mistake. Here's my situation: Technically, I can legally own whatever. Realistically, neighbors may complain about too much noise, etc. We have a (steep) 1/4 acre., a nice coop with run that will be converted to a tractor (4'x8' total). I don't want to deal with a lot of broody hens at this time. I enjoy free ranging chickens so I can interact with them or enjoy watching them. We will appreciate any and all centipede, cockroach, and scorpion killing services they may offer. Eggs that get laid wherever may be an issue b/c of the terrain, but as long as I find a couple a week, I'm good I think. We have neighbors' dogs and cats loose sometimes (but no other prey animals of any kind). I want to enjoy watching, interacting with, and looking at my chickens. I don't need high production or large eggs at all, but I do enjoy colorful eggs and cool looking birds. I like a lap visit now and again, but I don't need a permanent sidekick. It's warm/hot and dry here year-round. Feral chickens thrive here. I don't garden particularly, but what damage may be done to what I do have will be it's own discovery I guess. Being new, choosing naturally healthy birds makes sense. I'm attentive and good with animals generally, though. I'm a bit caught between getting a matching flock and getting a variety. I can probably keep 6-7 hens. Having a color scheme would really be nice...I'm drawn to the silver spangled Appenzellers and Egyptian Fayoumis, lol. Is that just an awful idea? And I like pretty much anything blue or splash (eyeing Ameraucana and Marans for that), although I also like Welsumers and Crested Cream Legbars (as well as lots of other breeds I've already pretty much ruled out). If I get all independent foragers, am I taking too big of a risk of them moving off entirely? What can I do to help my chances that everyone will come home at night? Can I get a mix of the birds I mentioned and expect it to work out ok? Am I approaching this all wrong? I know I'm late to get anything I might want. I don't want to order blue and splash and end up with a bunch of black, really (although if not heavy-bodied, maybe not the worst thing), and I don't want to deal with straight-run at all for 1st ever order. Are there hatcheries I should avoid? Are there mistakes to avoid in terms of hatchery/backyard chicks that are likely to not just not be show quality, but may very well look like a complete hot mess? Thanks in advance for the welcome and the guidance!!!