I don't know much about chickens, just starting out. I got a few babies chicks for my kids a few years ago. Ended up with 5 large breed hens and one rooster. It took 1 year to the day for them to begin laying, is this normal? But anyway they never attempted to hatch any. The just lay and leave the nest. Over the first year the Rooster died and the hens layed very inconsistantly. They may lay for several weeks then just stop for maybe and few months or so. Is this normal? In the mean time my kids teacher gave me 12 chicks. We did'nt know what kind they were. After a while we realized they were Bantams. I added them to the big chicken pen and In one night the big ones killed all but 3 of the Bantams. Is this normal? I ended up with 2 roosters and 1 hen. The chickens continued to be sparatick on laying and the bantam hen did'nt lay for 1 whole year. Finally she layed 1 egg and stopped for months. Is this normal? In the meantime will a Bantam rooster mate with a big hen? In the beginning of June the Bantam disappeared from the pen I found her in a old pen sitting on a nest of 8 eggs. I watched for 21 days and sure enough she hatched them all out. I now am the proud mother of 8 2 month old bantams. All but 2 seemed to form waddles and combs really quick. I assumed they were roosters but yesterday I found 1 bantam egg in pen. Thinking it was moter bantams egg, But today found 7 more. I don't think the mother bantam hen could lay 7 in one day could she? If not the 8 week old bantams with combs and waddles are laying . Is this normal? How old till you can tell the gender of a Bantam, Large chicken breeds seem to be easier to tell. Sorry about all the questions but I need some answers to this crazy flock. Just when I think i understand them they suprise the heck out of me. On the internet the sites seem to answer directly about raising chickens, but my flock seems to be the exception, Is this Normal? Any help would be greatly appreciated!