Last time I played (last week) I tried multiple embark groups and the most effective for me (for non-evil zones) was:
+ 2 dogs and 4 hens and a rooster
Setting up a nestbox for the hens early on provides a nearly endless supply of chicken for your fortress and the hunter is a pretty good addition provided you micro him well enough and don't let him drown or fight some gigantic panda *cough cough*.
Also, setting up multiple cage traps outside the fortress will wield a large quantity of trapped creatures including beastmen which you can (cruelly) use as target practice in a designed arena/pit and sell the captured beast or make a very interesting zoo.
Last note, I love the whole clay industry, my last fortress had clay and kaolinite so I crafted hundreds of porcelain pieces that have a base value of 100 which is basically the same as metal crafts.