I just hatched my first eggs and I'm hooked already! Just an awesome experience! My sister gave me 17 eggs, 14 of which ended up being fertilized. 8 of them hatched and the other 6 are on day 23 and probably not going to make it. (Though I know there were chicks forming in there and are pretty far along if not fully developed.) I borrowed the incubator from a friend and it's a still air, which I'm not crazy about. So I'm going to invest in an incubator with a fan from incubatorwarehouse.com today so that I can give my friend her's back and continue to incubate as I wish. The eggs my sis gave me are full black copper Marans eggs and Black copper/Pekin Marans mixed. Now- these chicks are cute but I'd like to hatch some that aren't mutts too. Lol! I'm actually pretty sure there are some Wheaten Marans in them too but that's another topic. I have 16 chicks total. 8 that I hatched and 3 additional french black copper marans plus 5 buff orpingtons that I bought as chicks yesterday. I'm hoping to have enough hens out of the bunch to get a dozen eggs per day by the fall. (We eat that many or more around here. There are 7 of us!) And I'm thinking about butchering the roosters but I'm not set on that since I am not sure I can do it myself and I don't know what the options are for a local butcher around here. Aaaanyway... What are your favorite brown egg layers that are also friendly and quiet? My family always had RIR and White Leghorns and they weren't exactly friendly. I remember the RIR's being pretty but bossy. I have 5 young children (17 months through 10 years) and I'd like them to be able to interact with the chickens, gather eggs and help clean up after them. The quieter chickens are preferred too since I have neighbors but they won't complain if the stink and noise are kept to a minimum. So I was going for Buff Orpingtons and Black Copper Marans but I'm considering other Marans (Cuckoo and Pekin) because I like how they look and maybe a few more Buff Orps in the future but I wanted to see what the experts around here prefer for egg layers. And what are your opinions on the various Marans? Are they ALL gentle and quiet like the black coppers? Thanks in advance!