Greetings from Northern California. Me, along with my four chickens (Marsala, Piccata, Alfreda and Dumpling) are new members! I have been on this forum and seeking information from this site since April when we first embarked on the chicken journey! It has been fun, but not always easy, especially since I'm trying to raise them under the radar of Homeowner Associations and CCR's! Ugh. I'm really a frustrated farm girl living in a neighborhood and some how fitting an abudant garden, 6 fruit trees and a chicken run in my backyard along side my patio set, lawn, fountain and swimming pool. My idea was to let my chicken's free range, I thought, "They will scratch in the planter beds, but why would they hang out on the patio". Well, you all know how wrong I was. They loved to sleep on the mat outside the sliding class door, perch on the rungs of the patio table and sit on the edge of my potted plants eating the flowers down to nothing. And the poop....Needless to say, we all got tired of the land mines left all over the patio and had a new plan. We moved the coup behind the pool and fenced off either side, letting the built in pool act as a fenceless boarder. This has worked very well. From time to time we had floating chickens, but the good news is that they do float! They can't get out, and look a little humbled when we rescue them, but have enjoyed a large space to scratch, many plants to eat, a lot of dirt to take dirt baths in and a hammock to sit on! But now the problem is the noise. They scream at 6:30 in the morning to let them out of their coup...remember I'm not suppose to have chickens...so I rush out in my slippers and open the cage. And now, I have a hen, that is going through puberty or PMS and won't stay in the designated area. And when I lov=ck her in the coup she yell's! Ugh. I so wish I could just let them be chickens! After much effort...raising the fence, locking her a way for a while and threatening to have Chicken Alfreda for dinner tonight, she spent several hours in solitary confinement in the bathtub with the shower door closed! It shut her up and gave me a chance to actually get a few things done without having to chase her around the yard every few momments. I'm hoping she gets over this soon. But we do have two hens that are laying regularly. Four mornings a week we get a brown egg and a blue egg. It is a lot of fun. The girls are usually a delight and somewhat soothing to watch as they forage behind the pool and roost in the fruit trees.