Okay, my husband and I want to order some chicks and were interested in trying the following breeds this year to decide on which one(s) we like: Marans (hubs likes the dark brown eggs) Dorking Buckeye Faverolles plymouth rock jersey giant Anybody have experience with these breeds as far as growth rate, butcher size, broodiness, and self sufficiency? We aren't too concerned with growth rate, we live on 5 treed acres that will be fenced in and they will free range, so cost-to-meat ratio isn't really an issue. But we do want to eventually trim the list down to just one breed and I know the only way to do this is to just try them all out and see which we like best, but I was hoping to get some advice. We already have a flock of mixed layers--rhode islands, australorps, and an amerecauna rooster. Marans are actually on the list of hens to get anyway (along with some amerecaunas) for colorful eggs, but I was curious about their meat production potential as well, they are a dual purpose breed correct? I know the jersey giants are suuuper slow growing, and I'd never even heard of faverolles until I started looking into meat production. We intially considered freedom rangers but have decided we do not want to go with a hybrid that cannot realistically breed true. Anybody have more suggestions to add to this list? Any input on the breeds we're considering? We definitely prefer quality and flavor over quantity, but we do have a family of 3 and expect that number to grow, so a decent dress weight would be swell. I think we're leaning toward the buckeyes, but we would love some input and advice.