What to get

first of all,
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second, the best laying breed you can get are leghorns, but i know from experience that they can be skittish or even mean. if you want a friendly bird that is a good layer, try RIRS, sex-links, golden comets, plymouth rocks or another american class brown egg layer. they are generally of rather mellow personalities and good layers. easter eggers would also work. if you don't care about temperment, leghorns and other medditeranean class layers are quite good.
 
I'm pretty new to chickens but I'm very happy with the golden comets and California Greys,and EE's.... the Wyandots are probably my least favorite, which surprises, me, I thought they would be the favorites, because of their feathers, but not so much. The Barred rocks and Rhode Islands reds are nice, just not my favorites. This is just from looks and attitude.
 
It depends on what you want them to DO.
I like my Golden Comet/Red sex links and tetra tints best because they are easy going and come when I call.
BUT if we were truely free ranging I would go with Silver Speckled Hamburgs because they basicly take care of themselves (preditor resistant behaviors), are pretty, and eat less. My 3 Hamburgs lay in the coop, but given a choice will sleep in the trees and eat bugs all day.
 
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