Im researching different breeds for my spring order and would like some input. I like my EEs and Red Stars, and will be getting replacements for my older hens. The Wyandottes are very pretty, and I like that their combs dont easily get frostbite, but they consider laying eggs an option. Out of the 4 Wyandottes (1 ½ yrs old), Im getting only about 1-2 eggs a day from them. They layed a little better when they were pullets, but they had small eggs then. Id like to try some other breeds, especially some dual purpose ones, so that I can raise my own chicks and not have to buy them every year. I know that hatchery quality DP chickens are as good as those from breeders, but Im not looking for SOP birds. I also know that with my variety of hens I have now and would like to get, theyd just be mutts, but that doesnt matter to me. My goal would be to cull the Wyandottes, except for possibly one, and possibly the 2 leghorns, as theyre not a favorite. Id like to add all or some of these breed hens: Barred Rock, Buff Orp, Dominique, NH Red, Speckled Sussex, Chanteclers, Astralorp & Buckeye; and keep my EEs, Red Stars, Black Star & Partridge Rock. Ive had several hens and pullets go broody, so Id like to sometime let them hatch out some eggs. The Blue Andalusian rooster I have (got for free) wouldnt be a good match with the current hens, as hes small-framed and has a huge comb. The problem that Im running into is this: Were a zone 4/5, so they need to be cold-hardy and winter layers, as well as, substantial size for meat (for old hens & extra roos). Im thinking of a 8-9 lb rose or pea-combed rooster who also has the genetics for great laying year-round. Ive been thinking that a New Hampshire or Speckled Sussex rooster would be a good choice, but they have large single combs and wattles that would be susceptible to frostbite. Ive thought of a Wyandotte rooster, as they have rose combs, but Ive not been impressed with the hens laying abilities. Ive thought of an Easter Egger rooster, as they have pea combs, are pretty good layers (& combined with brown egg layers, would make a olive egger), have a huge color scheme in their genetics, but they tend to be on the small size. As far as cold-hardiness goes, the coop has gotten down to below zero when its been -10 or -15, and while I havent had much problem with even the single-combed hens getting frostbitten, I dont consider the single-combed hens as hardy as the rose-combed, pea-combed, etc. Any suggestions, comments, etc?