Hi, I'm new to keeping chickens. We live in the country on a 1/2 acre section. It's 15 minutes drive to the nearest town and 30 minutes drive to the nearest city. Two and a half months ago someone dumped a rooster over the fence into our front yard and then drove off. We called the neighbor and asked if the chicken was his - he took one look and said "that's no chicken - it's a rooster! Don't feed it unless you plan on keeping it!" I looked at my husband and said "oops" as I'd given it some bird seed we had for the native birds in the winter. To cut a long story short, we've kept him and given him a harem. Spent around one thousand dollars building a fully enclosed coop with a small outside area and large roofless run. We don't really have predators in New Zealand apart from the odd stoat, rats, dogs and the occasional person. First we got two red hens, unfortunately one of them died on the third day. Looking back she was already very sick when we got her, even though we didn't recognize it. The other red hen is very docile and friendly. She follows me around like a lost puppy when the rooster isn't herding her off to look for treats in the garden. She was supposedly 32 weeks old when we got her from a commercial egg farm and has laid a medium to large brown egg daily from day two. She is very active and is always scratching and pecking and finding all the edibles in the garden. Two weeks later we got two black hens from a person we met that had chickens. They pick on the red one a bit, but from reading here I gather it's because she is the odd one out and smaller than they are. The two black hens were broody when we got them, but they seemed to settle in well. After 10 days we started getting eggs from them.These two are not very active, will often just sit around in the sun or under the trees in the shade. Four days ago the black hens started going broody again and are now ensconced in a broody cage inside the coops small enclosed outside area. I've spent a lot of time in the last two months reading on the internet about keeping chickens. This site seems to be very popular, very informative and quite helpful so I have joined.