I started with chicks last year and got 2 Australorps, 1 buff Orpington, and 1 gold-laced Wyandotte. The Wyandotte started laying first, followed by one of the Australorps. Then the BO, and very, very much later, the last Australorp started. The Wyandotte, though not terribly friendly, lays like clockwork - 9 am, and she's always on the nest. The Australorps and Orpington also lay every day, rarely skipping, though I lost the Orp and one of the Australorps to a neighborhood dog around the beginning of the year. Both were very friendly and calm, and weren't scared at all of dogs (which is our fault, since they were raised around dogs!). I got EE pullets from a friend to replace the two I lost. Those don't lay as often, maybe 2 eggs every 3 days each, but the eggs are larger. All of them laid throughout the winter, though production slowed way down. The Wyandotte was by far the best winter layer, though her larger comb did get some frostbite. I only turned on the heatlamp when it was going to be below 10F at night, and I never added supplemental light to try to increase laying. In the summer the birds free-range, and they hardly eat any of their layer ration.
When my two birds were killed by a dog, I found them shortly afterwards. Since the dog had only bitten their necks, the bodies were in good shape. I was able to remove the breastmeat just by slitting the skin. These birds might be considered "dual purpose", but if you're used to chicken breasts from cornish crosses, you're going to be disappointed. They looked more like little chicken tenders, not full breasts. If I was going to raise birds for meat, I think I'd try the "freedom rangers" or maybe dark cornish (I have something of a philosophical aversion to the cornish crosses, though they'll undoubtedly grow bigger/faster than any other bird).