I don't have peeps yet, plan to this spring. I like to research a subject before starting something new. I am not new to animals. I am a retired pet groomer of 26yrs. Worked in pet stores selling fresh and saltwater setups, raised and trained parrots(prefer big birds). As my boys were growing up they had different pets etc. Last night I felt overwhelmed about getting the chickens. I have been reading nonstop...anything I can get my hands on about raising chickens. There are sooo many choices...one day it's this breed or that. I'd like 2 of each a total of 8. Being from northern NH I'd like them to tolerate the cold, not flighty or broody, friendly, most days confined(hawks here) and I'd like layers. I don't plan on having them for meat. So, do I go with dual purpose or just layers. I'd like an old fashioned chicken. Also,they will be kept clean and then I read that too clean so not so good...stir up the litter and let it compost and then it will help with warmth. Leave lights on to lengthen the day, don't feed too much protein or too little, don't let them get fat, don't let them lay too early. Choose a chicken with a comb and wattles suitable for weather. Don't let them get stressed. Do they get so stressed? I could go on but I am drawing a blank. Yes, I'd also like to buy peeps from breeders, but a hatchery will have a variety. What if I get a roo in the mix. I've heard more reasons not to have one. I'm rambling. Just worked a 24hr shift. That's where all the reading comes into play. Just to let you know I am thinking on: RIR's, BPRock's, EE's,then perhaps Australorp's. What are the sex-links? Their color tells their sex?