Hi there, My name is LeAnn, and my nearly 9 year old son, Samuel is raising our backyard chickens, in part for the fun, but also as a 4H project. We started by inheriting chickens from a neighbor who found them to be too much work (really??) and we just this past week decided to add to our mis-matched flock by adding 3 Australorp chicks and 3 Buff Orpington chicks. They are living in the house in a large dog crate under the heat lamp. The 3 other chickens that we have are survivors after we had a brutal raccoon attack that took our half of our flock. We have a blue cochin who is surviving despite a bad bite, a Rhode Island Red, and a third bird that we think may be a Wyandotte? A couple of questions for those who are more experienced than we...we've read that Cochins have great mothering skills - is it too soon to introduce her to the chicks? Or should we wait until they can join all three in the chicken pen at about 8 weeks? And a second question about the chicks...we are really only planning to raise hens, but of course, we don't know for 100% certain that all of the chicks are hens. We went to a poultry breeders show today and saw roosters of both the Orpington and the Australorp, and boy are they impressive! If we do end up with a rooster, how many of our chicken's eggs would likely be fertilized? I know we can check to see if they are by candling (I think is what it's called) but am just wondering if we would be trading half of our breakfast eggs for fertilized eggs, or 10%, or 75%? Any help would be appreciated!!