Well, after totally rebuilding my hen house to predator proof it (yet again), I finally went to auction and bought hens again. I now have 5 silver laced wyandottes, all on the cranky side from all the auction stuff, settling into a 2'x3' cage inside the house for the night. I'm most proud of the fact that I came home with ONLY 5 birds. God blessed me at the auction with a man who needed help picking out hens (his first question was "how can you tell which ones lay eggs?"). So I got to buy vicariously through him. He ended up with 5 barred rocks and 5 RIRs all for $3 ea. When we first started talking, he only wanted 5 hens... so we looked them over and picked out a couple sets that would match what he was looking for. His birds came up first and he got the BRs. Then when my birds came up, I bid and got them. Then I walked away to avoid buying any more. By the time we met up in the pick-up area, he'd bought the second group of hens... not sure if that's auction math or chicken math... but it was all I could do to stop him from bidding when the chicks were going for fifty cents each. I had to explain that 20 chicks will likely become 10 roosters fighting and 10 very worn out hens that are too frazzled to lay any eggs. I'm guessing that my hens are 18mo - 2 yo hens. They don't look very old, but they are molting. There was a same breed roo at the auction, but when his price hit $4, I decided to to think more about it and just go back later. Strictly speaking, I don't really NEED a roo for a year or so, as I expect these hens to be plently productive for my purposes for now. But, now I'm wondering if I want to get another wyandotte or go with a cross breed. What other breeds cross well with Wyandotte? I'm in Ohio, so have to deal with winters. I have predators, so they have to live in a 12 x 18 pen. I want a dual purpose bird, but value egg production more than meat. I don't really want to go smaller in bird size. I'm thinking a cross bred will be a more durrable bird (and what ever it is will be the basis of the 'next generation' in my flock). I prefer clean legs because of mud, etc. What would happen if I tried to put a jersey giant in with them? Would that be dangerous? What about if I crossed them with a silky? Would the hens dominate him too much? What about an EE cross? Could I call the off-spring "EE" birds? Any suggestions or examples (especially pictures of crosses) would be greatly appreciated.