In my way of thinking the perfect homestead chickens breed is one that the hens lay well but the roosters get big enough fast enough to be good broilers. Add to that my need for a cold hardy chicken and it makes figuring out the perfect one a little tough. The way we have been getting around some of this is to get a batch of Cornish Cross chickens and just doing a batch of meat chickens in the summer. After this last batch we swore (again) that we are not going to get them again. They are pretty nasty birds as well as being pretty unnatural. Once before we had gotten the dark cornish chickens like these.
We ended up keeping one of the hens because she never got as big as the rest and she ended up being the bast layer we have had. So I think we will probably get another batch of those for meat. I am still trying to figure out if we should just keep some of the hens for laying or if I should try another breed. The tiny dark cornish hen (Tiny Bird) was my favorite hen and I just lost her. I think it may still be to soon.