Well my OH and I have only been at this for a little over a month. Got ourselves 8 'red' chickens between 1-2 yrs old. The fellow that had them is in the egg laying business and was getting rid of the older ones and replacing them with younger hens. At $2 a piece ... well ... how could you resist, right? He told us they were starting to moult and were 'off the lay'. Well, thank God for that! If they ever do get back 'on the lay' we will be swamped with eggs! We consistently get six eggs a day and, for a family of three, that's a heck of a pile of eggs a week. Our friends are very happy with our little purchase. Anyway, we have fine-tuned the back-yard for them over this past month with the appropriate amount of fencing to protect the two greenhouses and potato patch (mostly!) and they have lots of room to roam. But the most surprising thing I have found is how much enjoyment we get from these gals! They are a hoot. What personalities they each have. Some of them more than others ... I tell my friends that you know you must be getting old when your biggest entertainment is sitting on the backyard swing watching your chickens! And hey! They are every bit as good as a dog for running to greet you when they see you (yeah, I know ... they're only looking at you as a 'treat machine', right? But then again ... ) They are the friendliest, most laid-back chickens you could hope to find. My husband was sitting in the back yard the other week with them and eating a freshly made biscuit. Before he knew it, one of them jumped up on his lap, walked up his chest and looked him straight in the eye. Obviously saying 'hey! Are you going to share that thing or what?' The funniest thing is that he originally bought them thinking that you just didn't get any cheaper meal than $2 a chicken. Well ... now ... hmm ... told him it was a good thing I remembered how good pressure canned chicken was because by the time they die of old age, that's all they'll be good for. Anyway, also wanted to say that I have lurked here a lot this past month and thanks to so many of the posts that you all have written up, I have learned a lot about what to do which has made this journey even more enjoyable. Thank you all.