We've been officially bitten by the bug!!! Last September we acquired 6 RIR pullets, ready to lay, on a whim from Craigslist. We built various coops since then...first the hoop coop just to contain them, then a dog crate inside a fenced enclosure...not very elegant to look at in the back yard, now they are in an A-frame "Coop de Ville"...and we are still learning. Fast forward over the winter...the whole neighborhood wants to buy eggs from us and teenage daughter is managing quite a business of it, egg profits paying for the feed and providing her a bit of gas money too. (loves the egg-tracker program someone posted here!) "Can I have more chickens Mom? I can't make eggs fast enough to fill orders" She currently has two local cafes and a doctor's office ordering multiple dozens each month. So first we looked at other egg laying breeds. The neighbors want blue eggs so we decide to get 6 EE's from the feed store. We go to the feed store and the lady mentions orpingtons (but they have brown eggs and our customers want blue eggs) and my daughter falls in love with the resident silkie hen that roams the feed store aisles. We think about this a bit more, get books from the library, analyze the Henderson chart, think about the cost of raising the chicks... Yesterday's order = 6 EE's sexed, 5 blue silkies straight run (pets for the teenager, if we get a couple of roos she would like to breed them as silkies are very sale-able here...just have to see how noisy the roos can be) , 3 Delawares sexed, and 3 sussex sexed that we will raise for a neighbor. The feed store orders from Privett. My idea is to sell off the RIR's in the Fall this year while they are still producing well for someone else. I have definitely gotten my money's worth from them. And continue this rotation each year so that we don't have to deal with culling the flock or feeding non-egg layers. My daughter is quite sensitive about culling anything just because it isn't producing, yet I think she gets a bit attached to the girls and will have a difficult time letting go. Of course I will bribe her with the idea that getting rid of the big girls means she can raise a new batch of chicks soon, but ya know how kids can be. So bitten by the bug! Anyone have words of wisdom about Delawares? My neighbor is hooked on his sussex to be the greatest neighborhood egg layers. So we have a bit of competition going on in that department! Anything about sussex? I might try them at some point if they turn out to be good birds for him. I'm relatively new to the forum and have found so much helpful info here. I've gotten my coop ideas, resolved feeder / waterer issues, decided on brand of layer pellets, and am getting ready to help DD build the newer, better coop with outside fill feeders and waterers and nest boxes made from buckets that she will install in the wall of the coops. All of the ideas for the new coops and accomodations came from pictures and instructions on BYC!!! Oh, and she intends to take lots of pics of those darn cute silkies and make everyone drool!!!