Now that I have 24 chickens, 2 geese, 2 ducks and 1 turkey do I finally think about what breeds I want to have. I've been giving this a lot of study, and after raising some of the common breeds, I think I've narrowed my choices down to Orpingtons for my brown layers EEs for my colored egg layers ?? for chocolate egg layers and maybe BRs or PRs for meat/eggs So far, I own all the breeds except for the chocolate egg layers. I was thinking Barnevelders, but they're rather rare. I know of someone who is breeding cuckoo marans whom I may be on the list for chicks. The other possibility is to pick up eggs from someone who has birds and incubate them myself. What about Welsummers? One requirement I have is that the bird must be cold hardy. I live in Montana and we get some below zero temps. So, what would you suggest for brown egg layers and am I off on getting BRs for meat? I tried Cornish crosses and I had a fair number get ascites because of the altitude. I want a slower growing bird who will still put meat on. Or should I consider another breed?