If you’re looking for a few hens to keep you supplied with eggs, I really do recommend Isa Browns – they are great layers. Keep them away from any valuable plants though! While planting seedlings one day, I discovered my two hens following me and eating the newly planted pansies.
If they are running free in the garden, then you mayhave to search for your eggs as well. I’ve found a nest in the compost bin, and also under a very thorny bush. I thought my birds had stopped laying, before I discovered their hiding places.
Chickens need to be shut up at night. Ours had an enclosed pen, with a small coop, plus there was an open sided shelter which they could go under in very hot weather. This was also used when it was raining, as the gate to the pen was always open during the day, so that they could lay in the coop. Of course, they preferred to shelter from the rain in the garage, leaving little messes all over the floor!
If you just want a few small hens as pets, you can’t go past bantams, although sometimes they are hard to find. There are many breeds on the market, and if you are going to get some chickens, then a little research will tell you which breed are most suitable for your circumstances. The two in the picture are Isa Browns, great layers, and usually very friendly, smart birds as well.