I am very pleased with how my egg production plan has gone so far, even though my girls are only 9 weeks old and not laying yet, I feel like I've made a good start. My plan has been to see how they survive the Colorado winters and then add some meat birds to my operation next spring. I was thinking about ordering a straight run of maybe 25 - 30 Delaware or Buckeye spring of 2012, butchering all but one of the roosters and maybe three of the hens in the fall and then seeing if I could convince them to give me some fertile eggs to start with the spring of 2013. I don't know what you think of my plan so far, but the real question for me is whether I truly have the stuff to go about the slaughtering of chicks I've raised since they were a few days old...or any chickens for that matter. I've been entertaining ideas about ordering a small number... 5 - 10 Cornish crosses right away...like tomorrow. They'd be 8 weeks in October, which would be a good time to do some butchering and I'm thinking that since they have to be butchered, there is no question about keeping them as pets or waiting till they're older or any other excuse to wimp out, I'd get the experience and practice of slaughtering and butchering them without the longer term investment of time and money in heritage breeds. I know some of you already think I'm foolish for wanting to raise heritage breeds rather than straight meat birds, but the idea appeals to me more than raising something that is so genetically engineered to eat and grow itself to death...but in this case, it might be what I need to force me to meet the reality of meat production. Your thoughts?