I'm getting up my courage to order my chicks... exciting and yet a bit scary! I've never had chickens before but the coop is about done and I need to stop sitting on the fence. I would love input on which breeds you would recommend; I'm completely open! Our plan is to have both egg layers (all hens I think) and meaties which will include a roo. They will be kept separate in the coop and in the runs. We have room for up to 16 - 17 birds in each side but I'm thinking I should probably start slowly and work up... that whole annoying "learning curve" issue is probably better dealt with on fewer rather than too many! One other question: I see that most folks keep the chicks in the house to begin with. If the coop is warm enough (has electricity for the lamps, etc...) would you ever just start them in a small brooder in the coop instead of in the house? We have three cats and two dogs in the house, but I can certainly keep them in a guest bathroom if necessary, but can't help but wonder if keeping all the noise and mess outside is okay or a bad idea at first. Thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated as well. Which ones do you love the most?? Many thanks!!