Hey guys! I'm not quite a new member, but I'm new to having chickens. I live in a suburb on a little over a half acre. The houses around me have large yards but it is definitely a subdivision, so I have to make sure my setup is considerate of the neighbors. It is legal to have up to 6 hens with a permit. I live in northern il so it gets very cold here, so I'll need hens that are winter hardy. I have many questions! What are the top 3 best breeds? -winter hardy -QUIET Really good egg layers -sweet and cuddly (they will be pets too) -I love the idea of pretty eggs, but everything else I listed is more important SPACE: I plan to start with 3 chickens at first. I'm not sure about free ranging although I'd love to. We have a 5 ft fence, but we have a lot of hawks. Also I'm nervous about them not getting back in the coop during the day if I have to leave. We also have a wall of pinetrees I'd have difficulty crawling into if they chose to hide there. Is it mean to keep them in a coop/run most of the time? I read 5 square ft per chicken but is that good enough if they don't get to free range much? LOCATION: I'd like to keep them up against my house if the ordinance allows. Are there health concerns with that, like bird mites or sanitary issues? SUBSTRATE: what is the best floor bottom? Easiest to clean with the least smell? Thank you in advance for ALL of the help!