I've been a reader of BYC for about 4 years. Last year I was able to pick up six day old chicks over at mypetchicken. The ladies began laying in October. I built them their own palace - their coop is 5ft x 7ft by 5ft high with four nesting boxes. They have a 24ft x 8 ft enclosed run as well as free range of a half .4 acre back yard. My original flock consists of 1 barred rock named Sophia. 1 RIR named Blanche, 2 Buff Opringtons (Rose and Lucy) and 2 white leghorns - Dorothy and Ethel. Lucy went broody this spring so I purchased some fertile eggs from our feed store and hatched out 3 black and gold pullets (I think they are a cross between Americana and RIR), 2 Production Red (what the feed store called them) and 1 RIR rooster - at least I am thinking he's going to be a roo. He's taller, bigger feet and now starting to get a bright red comb and wattles. I also saw the beginnings of the fancy tail feathers. He's quiet so I don't know if he'll last or wind up in the stock pot. My HOA won't allow roosters. I grew up on a farm with chickens and very happy to have my girls - and boy if he keeps his peace.