I live in Michigan about 1 & 1/2 miles from Lake Michigan. Our last winter was very cold, windy & just down right HORRIBLE!!!! They are predicting the same type winter if not even worse this winter! UGH!!! I am planning on getting some laying chicks/hens in the spring. I have a few breeds picked out but wondering how hardy they really are? I want them of course for their eggs & hear that in the winter with dimished light they don't lay. Now my friend who is about an hour away has Australorps & she said that they laid all winter with no lights on them. Any advise as to what would be a good hardy winter chicken that can still lay eggs with out lighting. Lighting is not possible with my set up. I have other animals that would love to chew the cords & wire. That would not be a pretty sight! I wanted to get Buff Orpingtons, Australorps, barred Plymouth rock, Rhode Island Reds. Thanks!