Hi! Grew up on the West Coast, now on the East Coast. First year beekeeper, with designs on eventual sheep and chickens. Not at a place I could raise chickens right now, but attaining some level of self-sufficency eventually is always in the back of my mind. I may be moving in the next year to a place where I might be allowed chickens, so I recently bought Raising Chickens for Dummies and read it nearly cover-to-cover, and then promptly began planning my Great Chicken Adventure, for whenever the time is right. My strongest chicken-related opinion right now: Industrial-Standard CornishXRocks are EVIL. My current plan for my first 25 birds: Meat Bird production: 1x Black Giant Rooster on: 2x Black Giant hens 2x Dark Cornish hens 4x Straight Run Silkies (pets and brooders) Egg production: 2x Araucana/Easter Eggers--can't resist a few blue ones! 6x Red Stars--seemed to be excellent layers and stable birds 2x Hamburgs--eggs may be smaller than 'normal', but variety is good too 2x Anconas 2x Brown Leghorns 2x White Leghorns The idea is to raise the meat hens for laying, and keep them with the eggers most of the year until early spring. Then put them with the roo and give all the eggs to the Silkies to raise so the big hens can keep putting out meat chick eggs. After a round or two, letting the hens raise the last batch if they seemed broody, I'd put them back with the egg layers and raise up the meat chicks for the next 6-9 months. Questions on this method: 1. Can a rooster and a single hen be fairly happy together most of the year, or should I keep more than 1 in there with him so he dosn't kill her with his attentions? 2. Does anyone know what happens with a Black Jersey Giant on a Dark Cornish hen? Fast, slow, or somewhere in between? Are the chicks functional? Any comments, critisims, or helpful suggestions on my 'plan' are always welcome!