I am curious to see what breeds you guys would recommend for me as I'd like to start raising chickens for some meat as well (and I have also spent lots of time searching the forums here). I live in Wisconsin, so winter hardiness is important, and on ten acres. My primary purpose for my birds is pest control, primarily tick control. So what I am looking for is a breed (or breeds) that I can keep from April to October that I can free range for pest control and that during that time will have grown enough to be worth eating so that I don't have to over winter them. So, while meat production is something I'm after, I don't need huge birds and don't want birds that gain weight with a huge compromise in their ability to forage (but I am more than happy to supplement feed). On top of that, I'd love it if it were a breed with decent laying ability so that I can keep a few hens each fall as layers. I've had a lot of different breeds but have never raised for meat and know that I am not interested in cornish crosses. So, I'm looking to see what everyone's exepriences with raising some of the dual purpose/heritage breeds for these needs would be. (I'd also be curious if anyone has experience with rangers) Here's the criteria: -Excellent foragers -Good meat production (but doesn't have to be huge) in about 7 months, they really don't have to hit a good weight before that as that's how long ticks are a problem here. -Good laying -Winter hardy -Broodineess and good moms is a plus but not totally necessary PS: I've already tried guineas for tick control and hated them. They were unbelievably loud and always getting themselves stuck stupid places.