Hi, new here. My family and I are considering a backyard flock. We would like to raise dual purpose birds, primarily for eggs. Here's our situation: we live in a small city/college town and have a large back yard (about 80'x200') that's fenced in (all but one section is 6'privacy fence, one section is 4') and we're thinking of converting half of our greenhouse (the greenhouse is about 20'longx15'widex10'high, so half that space for the nest boxes and indoors)into a chicken coop and then create an attached permanent run out of part of our existing garden (so the chicks can have free range with supervision and a regualar pen during other times). Here are the requirements for any the breeds we're considering: -- must be quieter, docile, not flighty, and deal with people and confinement well (we have toddlers and the city allows livestock so long as they are not deemed a "nuisance"), we plan on letting our birds free range with supervision, but at other times they'll have to go in the permanent enclosure and we can't have flying escapees; we also want relatively docile, friendly birds due to the kids -- we'd like to have good egg production, with decent table potential (we might be able to keep one or two extra special "pet hens" but due to where we live we can't keep them all when egg laying poops out) -- we're wanting to depend upon the chickens to satisfy almost if not all of our egg needs. We're a family of four, a family of six when the two oldest come home on leave from the Army, and we love eggs; I don't know what that would mean as far as number of chickens needed and egg production numbers, but I'm guessing a fair amount. -- ***we live in Illinois! if anyone here is from the Midwest you'll know why that's important -- the weather here can be capricious and extreme. It gets really hot and humid here in the summer, really cold in the winter, and extremes of temperature are the norm -- along with a LOT of mud in the spring and fall. While our proposed chicken coop is on a south facing wall in a protected location, will be insulated and ventilated well, any chickens we get will still be dealing with Illinois' tough weather conditions. So we need hardy, robust birds I'm thinking. Those are the most important issues for us. Secondary to that: -- we'd like visually pleasing birds and would be very interested in heritage conservancy breeds (maybe a mixed flock, to fulfill the important stuff and a couple of chicks to be "unique"????). So far we've been looking at: Easter Eggers Delawares Orpingtons Plymouth Rocks Speckled Sussex Australorps Brahmas Faverolles American Hollands Any pros/cons of any of these breeds for our situation, plus any other breed recommendations would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!