I've been a keeper of a tiny backyard, (3-5) flock for four years, all layers until now. I live in a suburban neighborhood, and these are my biggest mistakes: Buying a rooster to keep my hens company. Not only was there crowing, less food and a lot of drama, but five months later I was talking a sheepfarmer into taking my year old layers as a free gift if he would take the rooster also. They now live on a farm in the mountains nearby and the farmer doesn't give me any eggs. Waiting an extra day to fix the hole in the run, I lost two of my four layers to a racoon that night. Getting straight run banties; I adore my banties but after two turned up cockerels, I ended up paying a local animal rescue $30 to take a purebred Silver Sebright off my hands (nobody answered the ad at the feed store for a $15 cockerel) -don't ask what happened to the other one, I'll be feeling bad about that for a while, but I did my best at the time.) My neighborhood is too close to handle a crowing rooster. From now on I'll buy my chicks already sexed and not encourage bad habits. Not buying those black and white Polish banties when I had the chance at the feedstore this spring. They next day I checked back and somebody had come in and bought the whole lot. Curse you, Polish Banty greedy person!