Hope I'm posting this in at least somewhere around the right place-- if not, Mods, please feel free to move! We ordered 25 day old chicks from McMurray last February. It was a mix of heavy brown egg layers-- Speckled Sussex, Barred Rock, Buff Orp, Black Orp, White Rock, SL Wyandottes, and received one surprise rooster in the bunch. We have had a TOTAL blast with them all year, and they've been doing great. We're now looking this season to replace a few we've lost or sold, plus expand our flock. I've put in an order with Ideal for day-old chicks to be delivered in four weeks, and on a whim, added some Barnevelders and Welsummers. Our daughter sells the eggs as an ongoing 4-H project, so the attraction was mostly the different color eggs, but now I have questions. . . First, did you find that your Barnevelders and Welsummer chicks matured into nice birds? Our flock lives in our backyard, gathers around our feet while we're grilling, supervises kids while they're swimming in our pool, and serves as clean-up crew at birthday parties (they make quick work of stray Fruit Loops and cake crumbs). Will the new breeds fit in for a backyard family flock? Second, we live in the MidAtlantic, and while our weather's not severe, we do hover at freezing for three months of the year, with at least a couple weeks around single digits. Our coop is secure and draft-free, but it's only minimally heated (100 w bulb over the roosts) and not insulated. We have a heated waterer in there, but it definitely goes below freezing. Will the Barnevelders and Welsummers do okay in winter? Finally, mostly out of curiosity, are they good layers? Our girls produced like gangbusters during summer and fall. They slowed down markedly during the darkest of December, but even so, we still got a couple or three eggs a day from the Buff Orps and/or White Rocks. It's not a big deal, one way or another-- just wondering how they laid for you? Thanks in advance for any info, everyone!