I've been lurking around here since last April when we added 8 chickens to our family. We have 7 Buff Orpington hens and one Buff Orpington Rooster named Nugget. Nugget was supposed to be a hen, but what are ya gonna do? He's my 13 yo son's pride and joy. So we've decided to add to the family. Tomorrow is free chick day at our local feed store, 5 chicks per bag of starter, breed unknown. Kind tempermant and cold hardy are musts, and we really prefer good egg layers as we can't keep up with the demand from friends and neighbors (the girls are giving it their best shot, averaging 6 eggs/day). I've been studying photos of chicks trying to memorize which breeds look like what, but then I start looking at the photos and descriptions from everyone here and WOW!, you know a lot of differences. So I thought I would fire off a few questions to try and arm myself with more knowledge.... First, are bantam chicks markedly smaller at a day old than standard? (Please don't laugh, I've never seen bantam chicks!) Tips on identifying Buff Brahmas (besides their feathery legs that Cochins also have)? Are Australorps always that pretty black with yellow, and are there other breeds that are similar? Any identifying trait that will help me sort through? I'm open to more Orpingtons, although it's tough to tell some of them apart. Any distinguishing traits? Thanks for your help. I'll try to post pics when we get the babies tomorrow am. I'll probably (sorry for the pun) chicken out and end up just buying the breeds I want. Once a critter is in our family, it stays unless it's mean to the kids.