catmad wrote: Rockcreekfarm, your chickens would need predator proof housing at night, like the ducks. Just about anything can scale 5 feet, raccoons, coyotes, foxes do it around here, and anything weasely will get thru or over. Other than the coyotes, the wouldn't be much danger to alpacas other than crias, but for chickens they're trouble. I've got a 5 ft fence between my chickens and the woods, and I think of it just a being something to slow down the local dogs, who have been known to rip thru my flock :(. It doesn't stop anything else.
Cochins are among my favorites, so I can recommend them happily. Their eggs aren't huge, and they can be inconsistent layers, but they make great pets. My _very_ favorites are the Turkens, but they may be an acquired taste...
They lay X-large brown eggs, and they are very friendly.
If you're just after eggs, look into the "production" breeds, the Rhode Island Reds, red or black Sexlinks, Australorps, and so on.
I always swear that I'll stick with a flock of only one kind of chicken, so they all look alike, and I won't be heartbroken when I loose them. Never works. I have a "Backyard Quilt" of various colors, sizes, and fluffiness. It makes me smile, even when (like now) most of them are declining to lay. They're lucky that way :)