So for starters Hi So I want to start a small backyard flock of 5 or so birds for the main purpose of eggs, with a secondary purpose of them eating bugs (mosquitoes specifically as I am not into chemicals, but we have annual outbreaks of west nile when the mosquitoes get bad). I Do live in a subdivision so I don't want anything too loud (no worries with the HOA though as thats already been addressed). We plan to have a coop similar to the ConvertiCoop (http://catawbacoops.com/) since its fairly easy on materials. The majority of the time though the plan is to let the chickens have the run of the back yard (will keep there wings clipped of course). I also have a 4 year old daughter who plays in that yard & a beagle (he does fine with my dads chickens after they hold still long enough for him to get all his smelling done). So I want something that will be pretty ok with the mixed action going on. Predator wise the only thing hat might be a problem is we have a fairly large hawk presence around here (no large hawks though so I doubt anything larger then a bantam will have any issues). I am in the Boise ID area so winters can be a good bit chilly (I live south of boise & the coldest I remember it getting last year was about -18 with the wind chill for a couple mornings, but mostly above 0). I plan on getting the birds locally & we have one hatchery locally that has been recommended (http://www.dunlaphatchery.net/) so that also narrows down my selection since I am planning to avoid having chicks (we have a fat cat that just might cause problems although she is typically scared of anything that moves) and dunlap does sell mature (several months old) birds as well. From there list I Believe there Golden Sex Link is a Red Star? Which seems like it would be the ideal bird other then I am not sure about the noise & how well they would do with my kid. The Orpingtons would come a close second, but there egg production is a little behind & Since there a bit bigger I don't want them to be too crowded in the coop. If I do have to start from chicks from the research I have done Dominiques seem to be the best fit, but again I would rather not. Plus the Red Star pictures I have seen are Very pretty birds & I don't really like the black & white ones (like the dominique or barred rock). But in the end I know basically nothing at this point so I have come seeking others much more knowledgeable advice.