Hi there! Just became a member as I have been frequenting this great site for information on raising chickens in my small town "urban" backyard. Found this website form a google search and LOVE it!!! I am a complete newbie --chicken flock virgin. We are limited to five chickens according to city limits and space. We are myself, a substitute teacher, hubby--landscape gardener, daughter (13) and son (8). Hubby and I want to create a garden and create a more self-sufficient life. We would like to get 4 chickens that are good layers, one or two that are good foragers and hopefully all that are good pets. (Don't think the kids will approve of eating them at this stage.) Breeds that I am considering from the local feed shops are: 1.) Ameraucana (prob EE, I know ); 2.) Buff Orpington 3.) Rhode Island Red (son and hubby want); 4.) Silver or Golden Laced Wyandotte; and, 5.) Australorp. (not in any order of preference) NOW, the kids have decided they want Silkies! Help! I am reading lots of mixed reviews about this. Any input from those of you with more experience? Not sure how to add signature yet but other pets are beautiful lab mutt, B.B.; Big Cat, Slinky; Crazy Teen Kitten, Freya and Sweet Mini Rex Rabbit, Carmela. Oh yes, and Red Fish (a Beta).