May 22, 2015
Still can't make my mind up
Looking for birds for first time
Keeper (good egg layers ) & 2 of another breed that are likely to go broody so I can buy fertile eggs
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Silkie are without question the brooders of the chicken world. For function that's about it with Silkie. Very docile, fancier bird with low egg count, little meat and propensity to brood. You can never count on a bird to brood and they likely will do it at times you don't want chicks. That said, a Silkie gives you your best chance to not need to use incubators. I'd have a breed in mind and the source you want to obtain them from well in advance so when you have a broody it's an email away. Problem with that is waiting lists but may be able to get eggs late spring with just over week lead time.

I assume your going with hatchery birds your first flock. They are bred for egg production, it's not a limiting factor at all. Have a friend with hatchery Jersey Giants. Not a great egg layer by design yet his hatchery birds gave 6 eggs a week each. If you go the route of production layers like sex links or reds or leghorn your looking at 9 days minimum and typically much more straight dyas laying before taking a day off. Those all lay extra large and jumbo eggs. You'll soon be over run with eggs if you have just 6 of these type birds.

A batch of different breeds is always a good idea to aid in narrowing down what type of bird suits you for future flocks. EE's, Sussex, Wyandotte, Plymouth Rock, Orpington or Austalorps are all good birds and makes for a diverse flock to look at and in temperment. All of these birds typically lay a large egg not the extra large and jumbo of the production type birds.
If you want some really good egg layers, the red or black sex links will take care of that. Although, I've read that they will slow down on laying around 2 years of age. My RSL's are about 1 1/2 years old and produce an egg almost every day.

For broody girls, the Orpingtons are kind of known for that. Plus, they are big balls of fluffy friendliness.

With so many breeds to choose from, it can be hard to decide. But have fun figuring it out!

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