The Ancona. I started with single comb straight run chicks from Murray McMurray , and not too long ago, added rose comb birds from Fred Zillich which were the ones I mentioned blending into my flock. Because the rose comb variety is so rare, I have since purchased some started birds from Joseph Marquette at Yellow House Farm and when Sam Brush had some for sale they ended up here. They're marked with yellow and red legbands and after a short time in isolation were turned out to range with the yard flock. When I initially crossed my old birds with the ones from Fred I was amazed at how they seemed to be able to magically pull faults out of thin air when neither line seemed to have them. Narrow tails, wonky tail sets, dropped wings, "paint splatter" markings, some beak 'issues'. The reality of course is that both lines had those faults all along, but they weren't likely to see the light of day until they were paired with another bird that carried them. OTOH, I think I have maybe one trio of single comb (pet) birds left, so I guess I was successful at switching the comb type. All in all, they are a lovely breed just to have out in the yard. I do alot of linebreeding with all the breeds I have, so I also like to use old hens. (old roosters too if they're up to it.) I prefer to have birds that will lay well and be thrifty for many years rather than a flash in the pan that will burn out before it's two.