I'm new to chicken keeping and currently have six chickens: two roosters and four hens. They are a Dominique and Marans mix given to me as chicks by my "Chicken Mentor" and are less than a year old. I'm planning on expanding the flock in the spring, most likely with pure Marans, but am keeping an open mind on the subject. So far, this has been a great experience and I find great joy in spending time in the coop and getting accustomed to their conversations. The hens have started "coming on-line" and producing eggs, which has made keeping chickens all the more rewarding. I'm happy to say that I haven't experienced any serious problems yet but know there will be issues on the horizon, and for this reason I find it reassuring to have a community such as this to turn to for answers and support.