Hi, all, and thanks for the information you have already provided to me. I am not new to chickens - got our first day-old chicks from the feed store about 8 years ago. Still have 2 of those hens (one barred rock, one RIR) plus 9 more (4 GL Wyandottes, 2 Black Australorps, 3 Buff Orpingtons) that we got as chicks a couple of years later. I found BYC only recently, when searching for testimonials and advice about ordering day-old chicks from hatcheries through the USPS. I am doing that for the first time this spring to try out some breeds that I can't purchase as pullet chicks locally. I placed an order with Ideal - should have 30 (!!) chicks shipped on May 6 - 5 pullets each of Barnevelders, Welsummers, Partridge Rocks, Columbian Wyandottes, "Ameracaunas," and Speckled Sussex. If any turn out to be roosters, I will be looking for new homes for them, so I'll keep you posted on that. We live on rural property in Florida - have 2 horses and 4 dogs in addition to the chickens. The dogs and chickens - which roam the place during the day - get along fine. I think the dogs protect the chickens by keeping other predators away. The kids (3) are grown and moved out, but we see them often and they relieve us of the good farm eggs when they come by! We got started with the chickens because my eldest daughter wanted them. Now we are hooked - love the hens, and love the superior eggs!