I am getting ready to order chicks for this spring. Originally, I had planned on getting Barnevelders but they are a lot more expensive than I was anticipating (over $9 a chick, and I'm cheap ). I've been looking around the hatchery site (Meyer) trying to decide what to do and thought I'd ask you all what you like. I prefer brown eggs (no particular reason) and I'm drawn to unique looking things. But I also want to be practical--friendly birds, big eggs and laid frequently. Like I said, I love the look of the Barnevelders. I also love the deep brown of the Maran eggs. I have considered RIR's and Black Australorps for practicality. I'm also looking at speckled Sussex and blue laced red Wyandottes. Opinions? Other breeds you like better? I'm thinking of getting about 5 chicks this time, so I could do more than one breed.