My DH and I are debating wether we want to keep just our small flock of 8 or to create a larger flock. So I was wondering if some of you veterans could tell me the stories of how you got started and then how you grew...order more chicks, hatch them yourself (cheaper if done under a broody right?), keep more than one coop or just one, free range versus contained(we almost have to keep them contained because of neighbors dogs....but we have 10 acres to work with.... So just wanting ideas on how to increase flock..... should I have many varieties or a lot of a few varieties, (I am thinking of keeping various orpingtons, BR, any other suggestions on heavy breeds that are good dual purpose birds? THanks for your stories. Edited to add this question...How do you all keep straight who is and isn't laying, My DH and I are concerned that after a few years we will end up feeding hens that aren't producing any more if we get too big and can't keep track of who is who anymore.