Okay, I DID do a search before asking this question, because I am sure it is asked ALL the time. But I really wasn't able to find the answer I am looking for. I don't want to just buy some chicks, raise them up and then slaughter them. We want to raise meat birds for years to come. I placed an order with McMurray and ordered Buff Rocks- 8 females and 3 males (will only keep 1 male with them, but I ordered 3 just incase) I wanted the Buff Orpingtons as I think they'd be the best choice, but the lady said the wait would be longer and that Buff Rocks are the "next best thing". Is this true? Or would it be in my best interest to go ahead with the Orpingtons? And does it really take THAT long for them to be big enough to butcher? (am wondering where we'll house the chicks as they grow big enough....?) Also, would anyone mind telling me how many chicks one hen will produce per year? As their offspring grows, do you need to seperate the males from the females? Sorry... just tired of searching and all this info is overwhelming! Who knew chickens would be so much work?? *laugh* We raise Diary goats... and know nothing about chickens! Oh! And I also ordered some Red Stars, Araucanas (though I read elsewhere they are not true Araucanas), and Light Brahmas specifically for egg-laying.