OK - so in return we spoil them. They all have names (which they don't answer to, by the way) and they are all guaranteed a home for life regardless of whether they lay or not.
After a day at work it is great to get home and spend some time just watching them do what chooks do - and they do quite a lot.
They don't just lay eggs.
They provide top quality fertiliser for the garden (even when they look like they're resting).
They patrol the garden looking for bugs and grubs.
They scratch through the compost we throw on the garden and mix it into the soil.
They'll even help with the weeding from time to time. Sometimes they'll prune the garden plants as well, but just tip pruning.
They are very good at spreading mulch - even if you don't want them to.
The vege garden is pretty bare at the moment. With the enormous amount of rain we've had, combined with the heat and humidity most of our veges just turned up their toes and died. I'm waiting until early Autumn when the heat and rain has passed to replant so it's become the favourite dust bath area.
Of course, they also have to keep an eye on the compost bins. (possibly their favourite passtime) They make sure any tasty morsels get eaten rather than decompose.
Following us around, and checking what we are up to rates fairly highly on their daily agenda as well.
Note the black four-legged chook, interested but keeping a healthy distance. They've got her measure. She's been known to get the odd peck if she tries to steal their food.