Before you purchase your chick(s) look 2 years in to the future.
For some people chickens only serve two purposes, primarily a source of fresh eggs, second as a source of fresh meat.
But for some they become pets no different from the family dog. This is where looking into the future is important.
Chicken commonly live 5 to 7 years, however it is not uncommon for them to live to the ripe old age of 10 or more years.
Egg production starts at about 24 – 26 weeks of age (6 months) and will decrease sightly every year after that. By 3 years of age it is likely to the point that you will need to replace your laying hens.
What do you do with them at this point in time? Sell them? Give them to an unsuspecting friend or neighbor? Butcher them to be served for Sunday dinner?
If you have become attached to them for what ever reason butchering them is not an option. However you must decide if the pleasure you get from their presents is worth the reduced or no egg production and the daily cost of feed and maintaining a safe and secure living space.
All is not lost. Even with reduced egg production they are still good weeders and eat every insect find and can catch.
Hint: Keep Them As Broody Hens/Mothers
If you own a broody hen (or hens), consider using them to hatch a few eggs. Those old hens will be perfectly happy sitting on some eggs all day, and it would save you the cost of buying an incubator.