Alrighty. After receiving some reclaimed building supplies for free from my father, my husband and I have decided we will build The Garden Coop. http://www.thegardencoop.com/chicken-coop-plans.html We plan to get 5 chicks in the spring. I would like heritage, dual purpose breeds. I'm wanting eggs for my family of 4 and when they stop laying the possibility of some nice chicken stew. From everything I've read I definitely want at least a couple Plymouth Rocks. I would like a second or even third breed just for variety as well as to find what we really like. I am not very interested in hybrids. I am considering, in addition to the Rocks- Buckeyes, RIRs, Australorps, Welsummer, Ameracaunas or EEs... The hens will be mostly confined to their coop and run but I do plan to let them roam the fenced yard for a little bit each evening before they head to roost for the night. Either this or I may build a mobile run to sort of use as a tractor around our yard. I also have 2 small boys (5 and 2) so I don't want any overly aggressive or skittish birds (no leghorns). I prefer brown or otherwise colored eggs to white eggs, but it really doesn't matter. We live in USDA zone 8b if that helps at all as far as climate for the birds. Lots of rain, mild temperatures without too many extremes - Washington state. I am seeking YOUR advice as experienced chicken keepers as to which breeds you think may do best for me based on the above criteria... Also, any other info I did not include that may be helpful?? Thanks in advance for your help!