I inherited 10 Rhode Island Reds,from a friend that had to move, (to be honest one of them has a little white in her tail feathers, We used to say she might be a cabbage patch baby) and bought a big golden colored rooster. I plan to exchange him for a RIR when I can find one. I haven't had chickens since I was nine years old so don't really know anything about them. My ladies birthday was this last March so they are learning also. I'm tempting the girls to trust me by sitting with them and feeding them goodies. They love the pears and blueberries I grow and will eat them out of my hand but won't let me pet them yet. My wife laughs at me when I tell her how good they make me feel. She tells everyone that when I'm not in the dog house I'm in the hen house. I have questions that refect both my desires and my iqnorance. And I'm not even sure how to read your answers if you replie. But, I'll try to find them. Do I need a rooster to make the hens want to lay? It seems like he just gets them riled up chasing them around. Do I need to buy a incubator to have chicks in the spring? Seems like they should know how to take care of that theirselves? How often do you have to have to replace the chickens to keep them laying eggs?