Hello all. I have been lurking for a looong time and soaking up all I can from all the experts here. Have been reading heaps of books, talking to folks, etc. This early spring we are hoping to begin with a flock of chickens that would include 6 hens and one roo. We have three small children, so a very friendly/docile breed that is very easy to handle is a must. Prefer clean-legged and a good layer, too. Initially, we were thinking of getting a mixed bag of birds: a bantam buff orp roo, hens would be pair of speckled sussex, pair of australorps and a pair of bantam Buff orps. Then, we started thinking about things, and we are considering perhaps specializing in a single breed so that we could develop good quality chicks and do what we can to enhance a particular breed instead of just getting a bunch of cross breeds that this roo would inevitably create. What's been difficult for us is that we'd like a bunch of color on the pasture. So, don't want all buff orps, for example. And I can see already that it's not easy to find orps of other colors (any suggestions on a great bantam orp breeder with variety of colors would be most helpful). We thought of Rocks as a possibility, but haven't had much success in identifying a good variation of them either. We're just completely torn about what to do. Should we go with the mixed bag and be happy with the cross-breeds that will come from this or specialize? We have also been surprised in not being able to find any breeders within a reasonable distance from home either. Hmmm..... Your thoughts are greatly welcomed.