Ok. I'm sure there have been dozens of q's like this but the lack of a search feature is forcing me to post anyway. How do you decide which breed is best when you're starting out? I thought I had it narrowed down to 5 or so but now I'm contemplating bantams in the mix... I only have room for 10 year round. Perhaps not a pleasant topic, but I'm considering duel-purpose birds. We mostly want eggs but if we need to it's nice to know that there'd be enough meat to make it worth while if we have an excess of roosters. If we do butcher the older hens and excess roos we'd also want to be breeding to replace the flock. To top it off, I want pretty chickens running around our yard. I love the coloring of Buff Brahmas, but I read they aren't good layers... Buff Columbia Wyans are hard to find, and I'm not sure they're any better layers than the Brahmas. Will the Brahmas forage? I read that feather footed varieties are poor foragers... If all else fails Buff Orps, Rocks and Silver laced Wyans seem like good standards. And then there's the bantams... are any better layers than others and do any get big enough, to butcher? I know that won't sit well since everyone considers them pets. I probably would feel the same way if I had them. The only reason I ask is I could have more bantams than standards, which might make up for the small eggs... But then I read about some laying eggs the size of jelly beans and that would really defeat the purpose... I should add that we want easy to handle birds since we have a preschooler that will want to help. I've just talked myself dizzy... Help a novice?