I've been carefully researching the breeds of chickens available in this area, and what is best for the rugged Montana winter. I am so excited with the breeds I have found- lots of neat plumage patterns. My favorite chicken breed that is inexpensive and very appropriate for a small, backyard flock is the Barred Plymouth Rock, as seen in this lovely painting I found at the Murray McMurray Hatchery mail order chicken website.
Of course, when I buy the chicks from the feed store, they won't look like that. They will look like this:
Ooooh they are so cute! I think I might post another couple breeds that I like in the future.