Well, first let me say hello everyone. I am new to chickens this spring but have been reading, reading, reading all of this mass of information and wonderful advice but I havent quite found the answer to my questions. The majority of my hens are almost 19 weeks of age (6 Barred Rocks) with the exception of a couple week older Rhode Island white and a little younger Delaware. I think my Rhode Island white has started laying eggs, (Yey!!!) mostly based on her being a little older and having the reddest comb and waddles. I found one small egg on Saturday which was a fertilized double yolker with a good shell. The next one I found on Sunday was a very soft/moist shell split open with one yolk in the small end and the membrane of another in the other end. The yolk I could see was also fertilized. My 2 BR roosters are certainly doing their job! Then I didnt find an egg until Wednesday afternoon which appears to be normal and a little bigger than the first. (Havent cracked it open yet) I have read this is all normal for newly laying chickens. I was going to serve up half of the Barred Rocks for dinner and the roosters since I will need an unrelated rooster for next year. I am assuming that I want to cull the hens that are not good egg producers. At the same time, I have heard that the older they are the tougher they are to cook. By the time I figure out who is a good producer they will be beyond the 5 month timeframe for tender meat (so I have heard). How do I determine who should be dinner and who I should keep as egg producers? Some of the Barred Rocks are meatier than the others. Some are friendlier than the others. I dont know that I will ever know which ones are the good producers since I am hardly ever home. Ive read to check their pelvic bones for spacing, their feathers may be dirtier, and the redness of the combs and waddles. I also have a younger lavender cochin pullet who I am hoping will be broody and a good foster mother to raise some chicks before winter. Am I on the right track? How do I manage this small flock to have meat and egg producers on a semi-regular basis? Any input and suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks to all for all of your informational posts! Also, any suggestions on the best and easiest way to cook the older birds for the not so good cook would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again!