Well, the straw has broke the camel's back. That batch of dark egg layers that I have been bellyaching about for months have finally started to lay. So far I've gathered a light creamy tan and a white egg. If I don't see some dark brown coloring soon I'm going to scream! For those who haven't heard my complaints, it all started last fall... I knew that I wanted to add some dark egg layers to my menagerie - just for fun. I normally order chicks from McMurray but they only offer them as a straight run. So I started searching for a hatchery that offered what I wanted. I was excited to see that Ideal offered an assortment of dark egg laying pullets so I began 'talking myself' into the order. I finally made up my mind about the time the hatcheries stop shipping. No problem, I'd put them on my 'wish list' and have them shipped to me first thing in the Spring. Much to my surprise, Ideal contacted me the next day via email. They said that they happened to have a batch of Dark Egg layers available and would I like some. I knew that the weather was iffy and I'd never over wintered chicks. I decided to go ahead and ordered the chicks, expecting them to be sent out the next day - after all, they said that they had some ready to go.... I was surprised to find out that they would arrive in 3 weeks - almost November 1st! We normally have snow here by Halloween. I called about my concerns but they assured me that it would be ok. The chicks arrived fine - one died the next day. The 8 marans had the worst case of pasty butt I'd ever had with baby chicks and all three breeds looked puny and never looked like healthy, fluffy chicks. They grew slowly, always viewed me as a huge predator (never became friendly) and now two of the "pullets" are roosters and two of the marans have yellow legs. The worst is that the Welsummers have the ugliest look to them I've ever seen in chickens - bug eyes. They look like too much inbreeding has gone on. Needless to say, I'd been debating about ordering from Ideal again but NOW - they finally start laying eggs and the darkest one is almost white! Right now, I've lost the remaining trust I had in Ideal. I know that others love them but I feel like I was really taken. The worst is that I've sold 8 of these chickens to a friend who also wanted to have some dark eggs. We both know that hatchery chickens don't lay the darkest but I never expected white and I'll feel real bad if his lay white eggs too! I hope his have some color to them. I'll let you know if they start showing color. Keep your fingers crossed.