Hope this is the right forum...if another would be better, please let me know. Most of my questions have to do with hatching so I figured this would work. A little background... I'm not completely new to chickens. We had three hens a few years back that came with a house we purchased. I was a learning experience and a lot of fun but I'm really still a novice. We had them for a year or so, they all eventually became fox food Since that time (~6 years now), we have moved a couple times and haven't been able to get chickens due to where we lived. We are now purchasing another house where we will be able to have them, including roos...very excited! I've already decided that I want to get Dorkings. I spend some time volunteering on a small farm where there are a bunch of them and I've really grown to like them. I would like to have them for eggs and meat, and I think they'll be good around my three small kids. I am planning to order 5-6 hens and a roo in the next 60 days (need some time to build a coop). I would like the flock to be mostly self sustaining by hatching eggs and butchering as needed. So, here are my questions: - How old are they when they start mating? - If a hen goes broody, is it best to just let her hatch the eggs? I assume I can incubate if one doesn't. - If you have fertilized eggs that you don't want to hatch, is it best to just refrigerate them? I assume that would prevent them from developing. - Do they mate at any time of the year or more/less often at different times? Sound like a good plan, or not?