I am trying to decide whether to go with dorkings, bresse or orpingtons (or some other breed that I have yet to discover if anyone has suggestions). We are looking for a dual purpose bird, but at this point the primary emphasis is for quality and amount of meat. (We will have enough hens that any decent layer should provide enough eggs for our family of three. More eggs to give away is a bonus, of course)! Several articles indicate that the dorking has a better texture and breast, and I have read outstanding things about the breed for meat production. The fact that they tend to go broody is a bonus for us since, again, we should have plenty of eggs with 10-15 hens and not having to artificial brood is awesome. However, some articles, including the BYC dorking thread, indicate that these superior qualities have been greatly reduced and there are only a small number of breeders trying to get them back into their glory (for utility). I have also read that the colored dorkings are the largest and best for the table, but can't find any for sale. I know that careful selection must be made for any breed, but would prefer to start with the best flock I can afford and improve from there or at least try to maintain. Our set up is so small it would be difficult and take a long time if I had to start with low-quality stock. On the other hand, I already have some very nice lavender orpingtons and am on a waiting list for 75-100% English BBS to get some quality blacks to further improve size. (The rooster is already larger than any hatchery bird, IMO. A friend who raises several breeds of chickens came over the other day and couldn't stop taking pictures he was so impressed.) I had two hens that started laying in July and they have not laid a single egg since sometime in October/November. (While meat is my primary focus at this point, no eggs is not going to work). Of course, the 75-100% English Orps I am waiting on should increase weight, I don't know what it will do for egg production. I also wonder how much of the extra weight is meat and how much is bone, etc.) I should note that these girls laid an egg a day until the days started getting shorter and we are not supplementing light. I do, however, have one turken hen that is laying consistently so I am disappointed about the Orps. Unfortunately, the turken is the smallest bird I have so that breed is not on the table right now. As a novelty, I have also considered the Bresse but would like more information on how they are working out for folks in the USA before giving them much serious consideration. It may be a great experiment to feed them out they way the French do, but I would only be able to do a few per year that way. The rest would be regular free range chickens. If the feeding out is all that makes them special, they probably wouldn't be practical for us. Especially since the white would stand out to hawks. If you have read this post, thank you, It is rather long and I apologize. But any opinions/advice would be greatly appreciated! And if you know any good breeders of the breed you suggest, that would be awesome, too!! Thanks, everybody!