I don't consider myself settled enough for pets -- I wouldn't even consider getting a dog -- but I heard an ad on the radio this spring for chicks at the Alaska Feed Company and suddenly wanted chicks. Ian's been wanting them for years. The ducks were just too cute to pass up. The ducks and a few of the chickens are straight run (unsexed), so we'll probably end up with some roosters and a drake, but the idea is to get eggs, ideally through the winter.
Most people here try to make chickens pay -- they piece together a coop with scrap materials and consider the cost-per-egg after coop-building, feeding, and heating. We're taking a different approach. I wanted to try a passive-solar thermal mass building technique, and Ian was game. So our coop will be timber-framed, super-tight, well-ventilated, and heated in part (I hope) by a pile of hot rocks.
First eggs should come in September. If the Cayuga (the black duck) is a hen, she will lay black eggs.