Hello, I'm an east TN farmer that is looking for some insight into chicken breeds. I have done much research looking for a chicken that fits my needs and desires and have found a breed that interests me. I however, know nothing about this breed other than what I've found on the internet and am asking for some sound advise. I am also entirely open for other breeds that fit my needs that others may think would work better for myself. My situation.. This breed must be an active and aggressive forager in that I am going to using either an electric netting and/or a large covered portable chicken tractor to move them around my pasture field after I rotate my cattle through each small divided area. These chickens will serve to scatter the manure, eat the insects, aerate and fertilize the ground and scatter seeds in the process. In a sense I will be using them (small scale of course) instead of my tractors and equipment to do these things. In return I will be feeding my family our farm fresh chickens that we know were raised in a healthy environment, being fed a "real" diet of which only a small portion of that being commercial feed without any antibiotics and then processed by our own hands in a clean shop where we enjoy the family time spent together. My needs..... I desire a breed that can brood her own chicks and would prefer her to do so, so that they can be sustainable. I would like a chicken that reaches a butcher weight of (carcass) at minimum 5 lb within a reasonable amount of time and my time frame being, 10-14 weeks. I want a chicken that can be cooked in any manner and have great taste and texture and not a shoe leather breast. I would prefer the chicken to lay atleast 1 egg every 2 days as I can hold back a few from slaughter for egg production. My delimma..... I'm not a big fan of cornish chickens because I was given some once and they were rather lathargic, and to be frank just seemed to be waiting on their slaughter day. Maybe it was just the birds that I was given but, they just seem to be a depressed (would that be a fitting word??) bird and never really enjoyed the things that the other breeds did. I know nothing about the Freedom Rangers but, from what I gather from my reading they are more active foragers but, still have that "is it my day to die yet" demeanor. I don't believe either of these breeds fill my bill in the egg or sustainability catagory either. What I have found..... The New Hampshire breed appears to be the bird that fits my needs and requirements. However, in all my reading I've yet to read how the taste and texture of the bird is. If someone uses these birds for the purpose of meat could they please give me an idea as to where this breed would rank in this catagory. On a scale of 1 to 10 and 10 being the best chicken meat put in ones mouth where would this breed rank? Remember not only on taste but, texture as well. I understand that there is a few issues with this breed in that they can be "peckers", aggressive, and flighty but, I have a remedies for taking care of most of that. Scissors for the flightiness and a pot of 150 degree water for the aggression. I understand that the cocks can be down right mean so I propose a question. The question.... Being that the New Hampshires' were derrived from the RIR breed would it be possible to keep a RIR cock with good genetics in with the New Hampshire hens and pass over his traits to the chicks? The other question..... What could be some of the desired and undesired traits be within the chicks from this cross? To finish up this long post I will say that if someone knows of another breed that they feel would better suit me, by all means please let me know so that I can do so research on them. I am open for all suggestions. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.