This is what I'm after.... ...I dont want too many hens, about a dozen or so and only hens I would prefer ones that will start laying sooner than later. From a previous post SpottedCrow mentioned that the Polish, Leghorn, and Araucanas lay within 20 weeks, but then again the others lay within 6 months which is only a few more weeks, so a better egg would be worth the wait. And I would like a chicken that is a good egg producer, is one egg a day typical? I'm interested in the eggs, not meat. I'll be ordering them via mail order so I dont want to be limited to a minimum of say 15 or 25. I want to be able to order about 5 chicks from 3 different breeds. I know I'll need a light to keep them warm at first, and a thermometer. Whats the best food for them and the best watering method for the chicks? I live in Virginia. The winters here are mostly mild...often in the 30s and sometimes 20s....rarely lower than the 20s. Any chickens I should avoid? any advice? THANKS !!