Hello! I've been reading on the site for a couple months and decided it was time to formally join. My husband and I have 4 children, 2 bio sons and 2 daughters adopted from China and we've submitted our paperwork to try to adopt another little girl. We're sort new to chickens. An acquaintance gave us 3 day old chicks late in 2009. Turned out to be 2 Japanese Cochin Bantams--one hen, one rooster--and a barred rock who grew to be huge! The hen died, pity as it was my son's pet and would lay at his feet and let him pet her. We purchased some day olds from McMurray and had just put them outside when the neighbors dogs killed them all. So we are on our second batch. They're doing really well. I think we have 13 hens and 4 roosters. Yes, I know, too many. It wasn't intentional! LOL We knew we had the 2 already. We ended up with a RIR rooster in the batch and also one we're not sure what to call it. It was a freebie thrown in and it turned out to be a rooster. It's beautiful--has the colorings of a RIR, but has feathery legs. We have to make a decision soon on who goes. Hard as they are all so different. The barred rock is one of my daughter's. The bantam is just not a problem and not enough for a meal for 6... Feather legs is too beautiful to kill and the RIR I would want in case we could get chicks, but then how would I know they were his... The barred rock is protective of the hens, but the RIR seems to be quite amorous... Thoughts? We're a homeschool family, live on 6 acres, and would love to have more animals! Excited to really dig into the forums and learn!