Hi all, i've been reading here for a while as my husband and I are thinking about starting a backyard flock. He's in love with the look and described personality of Silkies, and we'd like to have 4-6 hens for 1) guilt-free eggs, 2) the beauty of watching them out in the yard, eating bugs etc. when we're home and 3) the ability to pick them up, spend time with them, etc. We don't want really "don't-touch-me", runaway hens, but of course they won't be in the house with us and we won't be holding them all the time. The thing is, while we know people raise Silkies in New England (we're in CT) we're a bit worried about them being lonely and bored in winter. If you get a breed that's better adapted to being handled, and that wants attention, does that mean they will lose those traits when they spend more time in the coop during the winter? Or will they be miserable and feel neglected? (This is coming from a Siamese cat owner - a pet we got for the needy, snuggly personality....which means we feel very guilty the few times we're away for more than overnight). I've heard of giving them entertainment like hanging cabbages, etc., but I'm trying to figure out if we'd be mean chicken parents to get a more social, docile breed and then have them cooped up for a long winter. We'd try to shovel out the run and let them out if they're up for it, but it would be a lot different from summer and fall when we'd be out in the yard longer and letting them roam with us. We haven't made our final decision on chickens, and this is a major reason. I'd appreciate any input. Hope this is the right spot to post this!