Hello everyone! I'm new here and loving all the information! I'm not new to caring for chickens, but I am new to chicken ownership. I've recently caught the "chicken bug" and am being a little OCD about it so the family has begun calling this the "Great Chicken Debate"! I knew nothing about breeds etc. so I started researching! I've decided to get chickens because they eat some bugs and some greens (I've plenty of both) and in return give back a few fresh (organic they'll be) eggs. None of them will ever be food themselves- they'll be pets like the rest of my critters. I plan to start with 6'ish hens. I'll be locking up my hens at night and allowing them to be out all day (I suspect hanging out with the horse and the goats where the most bugs are). I have a super sturdy, predator proof (with the door shut) shed I'll be making into the hen-house. My largest concern is night predators- at my place that's a bunch of raccoons & one mother fox with a den somewhere on our 20 acres. I have cats & 2 big dogs that are good with birds and who are out a lot during the day so hopefully they'll help discourage daytime predators. There are also many large pine trees around the coop with branches to the ground for cover from hawks etc. I'm often not home at dusk (single mom of a teenager...) so I plan to put a dutch door (not near as nice as that pic!) on the coop so I can open the top half for chickens to get back in the coop in the evening. My thoughts are that if I get chickens with a decent ability to "fly" they'll be able to make it the 3' to the open door and therefore be safer in the coop, on the evenings I don't get home till after dark. (Safer than with the door being at ground level anyway.) I'm also planning to mount nesting boxes about 3' off the ground with roosts in front of the boxes. I've read to make the boxes 18" or so off the ground but I've had personal experience with chickens that preferred to roost in the rafters of their coops... If it turns out they won't "fly" up to the roost I'll put in a ramp. So... on to my question (sorry for all the digression!) Here are the breeds I'm interested in (based on uniqueness of breed and cold hardiness- I'm in W. PA). I'm curious to know how well these breeds should be able to fly as adults. Appenzeller Spitzhauben (I know they fly well- it says so everywhere) Silkies Ameraucana I was really considering Faverolles, Dorkings, Buckeyes & Wyandottes too until I realized that they're considered meat birds and therefore probably too heavy to get their butts off the ground. (?) Thanks for any and all imput!