We're in southwestern Idaho on just under 1/4 acre in the suburbs, and were delighted to find out last week that our subdivision allows backyard chickens. (Yay!) We'd like to start with a small flock of around 4 hens, and because we are renting, can't put in anything that's permanent or would be too difficult to transport when we do move. We'd also like to leave the yard in nice shape. There is an RV parking area to the north of the house that is pretty much dirt (except for the areas we have tilled for a garden in the past), so that is one possibility for a coop area if necessary.
My initial thoughts were that a chicken tractor would be ideal (for the lawn, the girls, etc.), but I know it needs to be big enough and include sufficient shelter for the rather long winter here. (It can snow anywhere from November - May and get down to around -12, but neither the snow nor the negative temperatures are long-lasting in the sense that the cold and snow come and go all winter long with warmer days in between.) Also trying to be economical about this....wish we had wads of cash to spend, but like most folks, we don't.
I'd love to know what has worked for others in a similar situation, and would be grateful for anyone's ideas and words of wisdom!