Hello all - My spouse and I just moved to the wilds of Western Mass and have decided to try our hand at raising some chickens (small backyard flock, egg production for us/neighbors, general "fun" and not-for-profit). I'm mostly from Texas, so my experience has been with ranching (cattle, no poultry) and some "pet" guineas of my grandfathers. Spouse is from SoCal, but the "country" version and has raised lots of mammals (horses, goats, etc), but no birds. Spouse is VERY excited about chickens and has been collecting plans for coops, etc. We are very much in the country and chickens are allowed (and our new neighbors are already placing dibs on eggs, etc). We'll likely free-range and plan a flock of maybe 1/2 dozen hens. I've checked on craigslist and people advertise chickens fairly regularly, but we were planning to get some chicks in the early Spring as well (maybe Feb/Mar to raise indoors until winter ends). So, WHERE DO WE ORDER THEM??? I've been checking out breeds and would likely end up with Americana or the EE mutts (good temperament, decent egg laying, cold hardy, etc). Or something else common and easy to raise. But I'd love some recommendations as to where to order. I have a Murray McMurray catalog, but heard that they were something like the WalMart of hatcheries. Does anyone have any recommendations? And I hope that this post meets the rules regarding "solicitation".