We went with Rhode Island Reds for our little family. They are prolific layers of big brown eggs, and pretty calm and docile. I will be getting some Black Australorps and a few Red Sex Links as well. All are good layers and fairly docile from what I read in books and on here. These folks know their stuff. We are getting our routine down with this smaller sampling first, and then we will expand our laying flock and get some meat birds. Start wherever you are comfortable, but just get started. It's the best.