Hello all. So glad that I've found this site and forum! Fantastic compilation of great information! I grew up on a farm where we raised chickens but that was 3 decades ago. Now, we'd like to raise a few hens in our backyard and have run into a few questions we're hoping you can help answer. We'd really like our hens to be our pets, as well as provide us with delicious, organic eggs. After researching the different breeds, we've pretty well settled on an Ameraucana, Buff Orpington and a Barred Plymouth Rock. These three (from what I read) seemed to fit the bill for the egg laying, cold hardiness (we live in the Rocky Mtn region), and temperament. I'm guessing that hens, like other animals and people, can have personalities that vary from one individual to another within the same breed. So, one Barred Rock might be friendlier than another. That aside, we're hoping to have hens that will accept some handling and interaction with our family (including a 4 year old dd). To help this along, it was sounding as though we might do best to raise them from chicks and spend time holding them each day. BUT, this brings us to a new issue: We can't have roos (live in town). So if we get day old chicks from someplace like My Pet Chicken who sex them, what are the chances we'll wind up with a roo? Anybody had that happen yet? If we wound up with one or more roos instead of our hens, I don't know what we'd do with them (couldn't keep them--hate to think of the alternative). Plus, then we'd be wanting to get another hen to replace the one we were missing, which brings up the issue of having to separate the new one, then slowly introduce... You get where I'm going with this. So how often does the "mistaken" sexing happen to people? Because of this concern, we've thought about purchasing pullets instead, that way we know what we're getting (right?). The downsides here seem to be: 1) Missing out on raising the tiny chicks (we'd love it as much as dd!), and 2) the possibility that the pullets will not "take to" us as well as a chick (maybe not as people-friendly?). Is the second concern a valid one? Have you found this to be the case when you have purchased pullets (i.e. not as tame or friendly as those you raised from chicks)? And being as we live in town, we are concerned about trying to keep the noise to a minimum for our neighbors. Do the three breeds I've mentioned tend to be on the quieter side? I've read that all hens will be noisier when they've laid an egg. What's the noise like? Just louder clucking or crowing? And how long does it usually continue? Finally, we're hoping to get started with our "chicken raising" in the next month (i.e. have chicks/pullets by early July). But what would be the latest in the year that you would recommend starting? For example, is it best not to get chicks (and I don't even know if it would be possible) in November or later because of the need to move them to a coop in the dead of winter? I know I'll have hundreds of other questions I've forgotten to ask. Luckily the other posts have answered many of them already. Thank you so much in advance for any feedback!