Hi all! My husband and I are totally new to chicken-keeping, although his grandparents had some on their family farm. We have ordered 7 chicks and will be picking them up in April. Hubby is designing and building the coop and run, I'm in charge of figuring out the brooding process. Planning to go with the Mother Hen heating pad for sure. This forum is so awesome, there is soooo much good information here, and people seem kind as well. So, we chose the breeds based on cold-hardiness, large sized eggs, dual purpose breeds, mellowness, decent layers, and prettiness, LOL. We ordered 1 Red Sex Link, 2 Barnevelders, 2 silver laced Wyandottes, and 2 speckled Sussex. I'm so excited to see the chicks and start caring for them that it's just not funny! Off to read more threads!