I know I just made a post (about a good coop size and design, located here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/944000/what-size-coop-would-you-suggest) but I need help with this too so I figured I'd also make a post on this. I'm hoping to get chicks this upcoming spring, preferably 10-15 but possibly only like 5 (parents -_-), and I'd like breed suggestions. We have about 3 acres but most of it is woods and we're set back with a huge yard, though there is one road behind us and so we do have one neighbor right on top of us and several others close, so preferably they would be able to stay in the yard. That one isn't a HUGE issue though because we are planning on possibly fencing in the yard for the dog anyways. Another thing though is because of that, I'm hoping that they would be relatively quiet, especially since we already have a dog that's been barking for almost 3 years straight xD I know that chickens aren't necessarily SUPER noisy (at least I don't think) anyways but I also don't want them to be super loud or obnoxious and making noise all day and night or any noises the neighbors can hear. Again, I know they're not super noisy anyways and I know they're not silent so therefore, some clucking here or there is fine, or maybe even enjoyable, but I don't want to be bugging neighbors. (though hopefully with free eggs, they'll be alright with it. xD) That's another reason I DON'T want roosters. We're allowed to have them here, being a "right to farm" community and all, but, again, don't want to bug the neighbors. Unless it was a super quiet roo. But even then, the thought of eating a potentially fertilized egg or baby chick really bugs me, even though I know it can't develop if I collect daily. So. No roos for me. I want, or rather NEED, good layers, as that is the main reason we would be getting them and a huge factor in convincing my parents, but, being the animal lover I am, I also want them to be pets so they would preferably also be friendly. They don't have to be total love bugs or obsessed with me (though it would be nice xD) but they do need to not run/fly away and/or make a big ruckus anytime I go near them and they would hopefully at least tolerate some handling and scratching and hopefully even come when called. Sooo... I guess I DO want them to be cuddly love bugs after all. xD Being from Massachusetts, they also need to be able to tolerate cold and heat, though with the winter we're having so far, I may as well have naked neck birds. xD The breeds that I am currently considering and will probably end up with are as follows: Buff Orpington, Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire Red, Barred Rock, and Black Australorp. I had considered some of the Sex Links/production breeds or rarer breeds but I've heard the production birds have a lot of health issues and the rarer ones seem to be a lot more expensive and I've decided they can wait till I have more experience. I really love the looks and stories of those breeds but if you know of any others, please do feel free to suggest them. The one thing I am concerned about though is while I do want Rocks, I've seen A LOT of stories of them beating up on BOs so I almost think I shouldn't get them. From what I've read, they're not -aggressive-, just really bossy. But it still makes me really nervous. So much so that I almost think I shouldn't get them. But I hear they're great layers and, being a New England breed, they're hardy. Plus, since we can't get a roo, having a hen like that might be good, as I've heard a lot of them act like roos and protect/warn against predators, etc. and, from what I hear, they're not aggressive to people, just bossy to hens (though some do say they're more flighty than the others), so I'm really on the fence about them. I like the idea of having a docile, calm flock but I'm also not sure I want all "Golden Retrievers" of the chicken world, I like some personality too, so I really don't know. I was hoping to get at least 2 of each breed so they wouldn't be left out or just one of each breed so they're all different and have no like friends they can buddy up with to pick on different looking ones, but I don't know. If you have an suggestions on breeds, whether it's these or others, have any personal stories with breeds, think these are good or bad for me for one reason or another, have different experiences with roos, etc., etc., please do share!!!!