I've been reading here and it looks like Marans are a tasty bird. I saw some others and it boils down to taste and each has their own opinion. We'll probably need to try different ones. My biggest question is regarding the number of chicks to start with. We're a family of 5, 7 during the summer. I know we ate a lot more beef this past year because we were given a cow to fill our freezer! And a pig, too - but I need a pig with more bacon and less sausage. Anyways.... back to the chickens. So we haven't eaten much chicken with the cow and pig. I know we'll eat more if we have it in the freezer. How do you go about determining how many chicks? I'm figuring that we'd raise a bunch and then freeze them for the coming year's consumption. Raise/process once and be done with it for a year. Would one chicken be a complete meal or would we need multiple chickens to feed the family if we were just "grilling out"? Our other line of thinking is to keep a number of hens for the purpose of laying/hatching more baby meaties to keep us supplied with enough meat. Has anyone done this to shed some light on how many laying hens would be reasonable to keep for the sake of laying/hatching chicks to keep us fed?