Hi all, First time post, long time lurker. I have a 8X8 coop with an 8X8 fenced run being delivered this week. Even though it is winter, I plan on starting chicks and getting them into the coop. I have been doing a lot of research and talking to locals about it and have heard that it is okay, and also nice to have eggs starting to be laid in the spring. Here is my plan: I am thinking about ordering 25 straight run chicks in a variety of breeds. Right now I am thinking Buff Orpingtons, Black Jersey Giant, White Leghorn and a few Ameracauna hens. I hope to raise these chicks in my basement for 4-5 weeks or until I can get the coop to a bearable temperature for the chicks. I am in NE ohio and the winters can be cold here. I am assuming I will have 10-15 hens and 10 or so roosters. Can I start harvesting the roosters before they start fertilizing my hens? I really do not want to deal with candling or giving fertilized eggs to friends and coworkers. What about just ordering all hens of Dual Purpose breeds? What is the major difference? Will the hens just be smaller when I decide to thin the flock? I cannot have 25 hens laying, that is just too many eggs, and besides I want to have some birds for the broiler/fryer. I was told that it is pretty silly to start harvesting pullets at their peak production, is that why people just order straight run and eat the roosters? After I harvest the roosters or extra hens, I would then like to order a small lot of birds to raise just for meat. Can I introduce 15 or so broiler birds into my laying flock? What would be the best way to do this? I am assuming I will be keeping my "base flock" of laying hens for years and trying to rotate meat birds into the flock for 2-3 months at a time. Is this at all reasonable without having a separate coop? Any input would be greatly appreciated.