First, an update: I have started building the coop out in the backyard. It's 4X6, it will have a roost with droppings board underneath on one side. The other side will have room for food and water and will also have a 2X2 nesting box attached. There will be vents to help with airflow and two windows that will open and close. Once the coop is done I will build the pen, which will (I hope) be about 12X12 and predator proof. So now on to the inhabitants. I went to the feed store and talked to them about ordering chicks. They said I could order whatever breeds I want, as long as I let them know before the next order goes out. Very exciting. The breeds I have decided to get are aracauna, buff orpington, delaware, silver polish (1 of each). And of course DH wants his silkie. The only dilemma I have is the number of chicks to order. I have been reading posts about peoples' chicks dying en route or shortly thereafter. If I only order one of each breed, do you all think the chances of some of them dying are pretty high? Should I order two of each? I cannot take home more than 5 chickens (that's already one more than I told DH I was bringing home, hehe). I suppose I need to ask the feed store and see what they tell me to do. Their first chicks are coming two weeks before Easter, and our chicks will be coming in with the next order (a few weeks later). I am SOOO excited, I can hardly stand it! The only damper: my mom will be in town visiting right when we are supposed to get the chicks, and she is less than enthusiastic about adding pets to the family. It doesn't help that she will be staying in the guest room (the room we were going to dedicate to the chicks when they first arrive). Oh well. Guess the chicks will be living in the office. Well, I can't wait to post pictures of the coop when it's done!