Well, I've finally reached a decision about which breeds I'll be starting my first flock with.... but in the process, I've fretted, stayed up late, lost sleep, and been subject to the gentle ridicule of my lovely husband! In the end, I had to construct a table with all the characteristics I wanted, and pare it down over a few days! :$ the most notable things I wanted were cold hardiness, friendliness, and to do my part preserving some of the rarer breeds. I'm lucky enough to have a breeder near me who has a huge variety of rare breeds, and will hatch a custom order for me, so I'm settled on a few of each of the following, with enough to try and get pullets from those which aren't auto sexing (cockerels will be going into the freezer, but I'll probably get a Bielefelder cockerel — we have enough space and no close neighbours, and I'd like to have a cock bird to look after the ladies, and for fun.) -Cream Legbar -Bielefelder -Buff Orpington -Speckled Sussex -Blue Breda Arguably, I've been wanting chickens since I was a kid, and I have two of my own kids now, so most of this is pleasant worry/childish overexcitement! So......does everyone else choose!? Has your selection process evolved?