I'm ordering chicks in the next few weeks and so far, here's what I think we're going to get: 5 Buff Orps hens (because we already have 3 that are a year old and really like them) 5 Maran hens - my daughter likes the dark egg color 5 Ameracuana hens - again, my daughter thinks the colored eggs are cool. 10-20 Cornish X (straight run) for meat Are the Maran's good, friendly birds? Or is there a better dark reddish brown colored layer? I know from the hatchery the color may not be the darkest though. I really like the Buffs, and would just like to stick with what works, but the kids want a few different ones for the flock. I'd prefer something fairly tame, and fairly easy for the kids to handle. We had a flock of bantams, and well, they didn't work for younger kids. Any help/suggestions are appreciated.