After a large raccoon wiped out my flock of RIR's last halloween, I got some EE chicks over the spring and raised them outside in the coop with a heat lamp (no more chicks in the house again...EVER!). My RIR's were consistant layers but a bit bitchy at times and the roo....well, we had a stand off every few weeks where I had to open up a can of whoop *** to keep from getting attacked. I chose the EE's for temperment as I now have an 18 month old grandson who spends a lot of time with me. Skittish as chicks but the neighbor girls next door helped me by coming over every day and handling them. First of all I love that they all look different and I now have names for all of them...with the RIRs, they all looked alike once grown and I could only keep track of the littlest one because of her size. Today I went and got some live meal worms as they seemed to love the dried ones I had picked up at the feed store, my RIRs went nuts over the dried ones and I call them "Chicken Crack"...an easy way to get them in the coop early if I had evening plans. So the EEs had been eating the dried ones out of my hand cautiously, but today I took one live worm at a time and by the end of the evening they were perching on my knee looking for more. The roo even let me pet him and would come up to see me even if there was no worm for him. What a difference in temperment! I would never have gone with the RIRs had I known... I never really bonded with the last flock, I appreciated them and respected them but I considered them more livestock than pets, this crew is so much different, I see the differences in their personalities and the roo (so far) has been a real gentleman. What cracks me up is that I have a bird dog who would love to eat them for lunch, so I let the girls out in the afternoon when the hawks tend to not be around and keep the dog inside, if I take him out to do his thing on leash, the girls will follow me around even though I have the dog with me! For someone who is looking for a breed as a first timer, I can't recommend this breed enough.