We mail ordered 5 chicks (2 barred rocks and 3 buff orpingtons) about 18 months ago (all hens) and they’ve been nothing but an absolute blast to have around...very entertaining creatures and one of the few “pets with benefits”. We get 4/5 beautiful eggs a day when they’re laying (not laying now due to winter/molting).
The eggs are fantastic because we control what they eat (including anything that crawls around in our yard)...and they’ll eat just about anything you give them.
If you’re interested in raising chickens check out the Backyardchickens.com forum for any info you need.
One commenter above said chickens were nasty dirty creatures - which is absolutely NOT true. Ours stay incredibly clean and if you set the coop/run up correctly (we use Sweet PDZ as a base in both) and maintain it (10 minutes once per week for me) there is ZERO smell/mess.
Our coop is a 6x4 foot with an attached 12x4 ft run...the coop and 2/3 of the run is covered to keep moisture down.
Rule of thumb is 10 sq ft per bird (medium/large breeds) in the run and 4 sq ft per bird in the coop.