I am a true newbie to backyard chickens. For the past several years I have toyed with the idea of getting a few laying hens for the back yard. Thanks to friends who have recently done the same I am now ready to take the leap - I'm still in the research phase. Can any of you suggest the best breed for me to start with? I definitely want a breed with high (& high quality) egg production. I am leaning toward Marans (particularly Black Copper Marans), but any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.