Not really sure where to post this .... I know that everything depends on the cost of the coop and the area of the country we are in. I'm looking at 4-6 laying hens to start with and need a portable coop (one that can literally move with us when we leave the place we are in, not necessarily move around the yard.) All we know about chickens comes from a friend of our who has in upwards of 300 layers and sells eggs to a local co-op. She is gathering, cleaning, candling, packaging, generally running a much larger scale business than I desire to have. I only want to have chickens for my own eggs and for close family members who live down the street. My husband is afraid of the cost and that it will be easier, cheaper etc to just buy the eggs from a local farmer. I want chickens. I have wanted them for two years. He sees the hassle of her business and I see teaching my kids the value of keeping livestock and self-sufficiency. I realize that my four little hens are not going to be anything compared to her 300+ layers. I just don't want him "giving in" to me because I want it so badly. Can anyone give me an idea of my start up costs - feeding a small flock for the next year, the coop etc. The chickens are being gifted to us. I am a total DIYer and want to build everything. I have even been looking at the plans for making a coop from old pallets. I would like something like a tractor to appease my hubs but would ideally would love to pasture them. Again., not our property so I am still investigating that. Hubs isn't convinced we can keep them safe in a pastured area. We have coyotes, owls, hawks, farm dogs, cows, goats - none of which are ours. (We do have two lab puppies who will be trained to leave them be.) Help!