My original flock consisted of two "production reds", two black australorps, and two dark brahmas, and I later added two golden sebrights (a male and female). Over this past year, both of my production reds have died. They were both three years old and were sickly. One died in May and the other died in October. Their sickness was slow, no eggs were laid, they lost weight and by the time of their death they both were in rough shape, and though sad, it was relieving to see that they both were taken out of their misery. One of my black australorps was beaten up by the flock in January, she has a limp and nearly died. I do not know why she was beat up, maybe her limp caused her to be an easier target? She has made a full recovery (thanks greatly to the folks on BYC) and she still must remain seperate from the flock. She has a nice set up though, and she lives a happy life. When my golden sebright hen went broody this summer, she had two healthy chicks, but of course, both have grown into roosters, lol. We started with a bad mite infestation about the time that she first went broody, and we continue to fight those little mites in our coop. The rest of my flock is very healthy, but it is dwindling down in numbers. I only have four egg layers right now, all of which haven't laid an egg in months. They are all over the age of three, except the sebright mom, who is only two. This spring, I am looking to add to my flock (providing that I sell two roosters and get this mite issue under control). But I am having trouble deciding on good breeds to suit my needs. I would like breeds that lay well for a long time. I don't need an egg every day from each hen, but I would like a few eggs a week. Do all breeds quit by the time they are three? I remember reading about heritage breeds laying well into their older years, is this true? I do not know much about them. My production reds laid very well in their first year, but they both died from what I would assume to be some sort of cancer, or other disease. I also would like breeds that are friendly, and not aggressive or flighty. Thanks in advance.