I'm new to chickens, having grown up in New York City, where I didn't see a whole lot of farm-type activity (although I've been told chickens in NY is not uncommon, as their ordinances are pretty lax). I now live in Utah with my young family, and over the next few months we'll be moving from a 1/3-acre property to a .58-acre property closer to my husband's job (this will be a GREAT move for many reasons, #1 being a shorter commute for him!), and we'll finally start planning to get our first batch of birds. :) I'll most likely wait until next year, but the planning has already begun. I've read tons of books on the subject, but the idea is still a little foreign to me (I'm a city girl with a country heart!), and I'm raring to get my hands dirty and "learn by doing!" My kids are homeschooled, so this will be a great experience for them, too, and I look forward to having them help and learn right alongside me. My in-laws live a couple of hours away on a couple acres, and they have a few chicks this year, so I always look forward to when we visit so I can watch them and learn a little more.
I'm leaning toward Brahmas and Orpingtons as I've read they are pretty cold- and heat-tolerant, and being in Utah, which is pretty much all mountains and desert, we get some pretty hot days, and pretty cold ones, too. I've also been told they have a tendency to be very calm and easygoing, which sounds like a good thing with my hands-on kids (and a nervous city slicker of a mom!) ;) We also have a cat who occasionally spends time in the yard and who is quite gentle (but you never know with cats) so I like the idea of having larger birds that my kitty would hopefully leave alone (my plan's to keep them separated, of course, but I know accidents happen). I'd love a little more input as far as my choice, and I look forward to researching more. Egg size and color don't matter to me, nor does production all that much - I just want happy, healthy birds that won't mind a little lovin' from our family. ;)
Anyway, don't mind me as I lurk and ask questions and admire all of your beautiful birds, and dream of when (someday soon!) I'll have a flock of my own!