I have day old chicks coming from McMurray hatchery in two weeks. I bought partridge rocks, barred rocks, turkens (just for fun) and light brahmans. I got these as the catalog did note them as good dual purpose breeds as well as more likely to "go broody". My chickens are free range. I ordered straight runs and am hoping for some roos for meat and to keep as breeders. This question is multi fold: 1. if I continue to let everybody run together free range and of course(hopefully) end up with babies -they will be "mutt" chickens, should the chicks still be good layers and mothers or will the quality decrease? 2. how bad is inbreeding in chickens? (I can always purchase new stock every few years to refresh - will that help?) 3. If I choose to separate chickens to keep purebred lines these are my thoughts: A pen with a rooster and maybe 3 hens - remove rooster after 2-3 weeks and let hens brood and raise chicks a) does anybody have a design and/or pictures of some sort of facility to house a broody hen and her newly hatched chicks. or at least let me know how much space would they need? b) How long should I keep a momma and her chicks separate? (I'm assuming if I decide to sell off some of the chicks locally, I will have to keep them penned for ease of catching) Thanks - this is a wonderful site and I'm sure I'll get some helpful answers!!