I was on here a few years ago full of hope for a backyard flock of Delawares but ran into the local ordinance roadblock and, unless someone in town who is far more politically-adept than I am gets into chickens, its not going to be resolved. But as we've worked with our yard we've been able to block more and more sight-lines into the backyard of our corner lot and I'm thinking I might be able to sneak in some stealth bantams. I had wanted the Delaware for eggs and stew hens, but what we need most is tick and "wood roach" control in the heavily-shaded backyard with its mounds of pine straw and leaves. Each summer we've had to restrict our kids from playing out there too much because of ticks and mosquitoes and while the wood roaches don't carry disease like regular roaches they are very unpleasant to get into the house. I was thinking that if bantams could do the job on 2" roaches they'd be a lot easier to hide than full-size hens. If I were to build a chicken tractor how big would it need to be for 3-4 bantams? And how long would it take them to de-bug that big of a run? I doubt I'd be able to let them out since we can't afford to fence that area -- especially not with opaque fence. But a supervised playtime in a space surrounded by 4-foot garden fence might be achievable. I'm not so worried about the near neighbors -- the house against that stretch of yard sort of "turns its back" to ours -- they don't hear our gaming group and we don't hear their garage parties since they don't open their windows much and both heat pumps provide "white noise". There's a big shed between that stretch of yard and the other neighbor. What worries me are busybodies walking on the street spotting them and making trouble. So I'm wanting to make something that doesn't look like a chicken house. And I'm not sure whether to choose patterned, brown bantams that would be inconspicuous ruffling around in the pine straw or outrageously feathered, un-chicken-like bantams. I'm in the NC Sandhills. My ground is white sand that can't get muddy no matter how hard it rains. Our winters are mild with very little in the way of sustained, below-freezing weather and below-zero is a once-in-5-year occurrence. The ground never really freezes. But we have HEAT! Sustained high 90's with overnight lows in the mid-80's are common for weeks from late-June to mid-August and sustained 100's not unknown during bad years. Any thoughts on what I'm trying to do? Would bantams handle my bug problem? Any recommendations on bantam breeds that would suit? Would bantams be successfully confined in a pen of 4-foot, green, woven wire or would they fly right out? Is it possible to have a small tractor where feeding and watering can be done from the outside? I want to involve the 7yo in their care but don't want to have to worry about daily escape attempts. Am I crazy?