Well, the coop arrived last weekend and was a snap to set up. Here are some pics: I'm new to chicken-raising, but I've been reading BYC non-stop for a few weeks now. I still have a few questions. The open side of the coop is facing NE, because most of the rain here in Adelaide tends to blow in from the S/SW. I plan to use the deep litter method, but I'm concerned that the rain might get into the coop, because the roof does not overhang the open front. Will this be a problem? Should I set up a little tarp or something over the front of the coop? The coop is 5' x 5' x 5' and their run initially will be about 300 square feet. When we are confident that the chooks and the dogs will get along, they will have the whole back yard to explore. We are getting chooks mainly as pets. Eggs are a bonus, but not a big deal. We will keep the birds for as long as they live, not just until they stop laying. With this in mind, I'm wondering what would be a good number to get and also what breed(s) to get. I only want the minimum number of birds (enough so that they will be happy), to keep running costs, mess and smell to a minimum. We were thinking four or maybe six. Does that sound about right? With regard to breeds, we were initially considering ISA Browns, but I have since read that they stop laying at a young age. We want birds that are friendly and docile, and if they are good long-term layers, that would be a bonus. Now I'm leaning towards Australorps and Sussex. Would these breeds fit the bill? Thanks to anyone who can help out a newby.