I grew up in a small town, but even in my town of 8,000, I don't think anyone had chickens. We were as far removed from our food sources as you could get. No one had much of a garden (being in a desert where the growing season is only a few months long didn't help) and food came from the grocery store. I never saw a brown egg in my life until I was 18 after having moved to England for a short whle. White eggs were actually hard to come by. I will admit, I was a little bit grossed out at first. I was sure those brown eggs would taste funny. I was a city slicker. I'm all grown up now. I live in a medium sized down in midwestern America. There are farms all around us even though our growing season is still painfully short. They've been nice places to visit with my kids, but we don't have a garden. We only a teeny bit less far removed from our food sources than I was when I was growing up. Our food comes from a grocery store. We rarely get brown eggs, but they are available. We are city slickers. I want more for myself, and for my family. I wouldn't mind trying a garden. I will admit, we've tried one before but we never got anything substantial out of it. At a minimum, I would love to at least get some nice eggs from our own little flock of chickens. I want my kids to see that food doesn't come from a grocery store and where those processed chicken pellets they love so much come from. We give to our chickens, and they give back to us. The city I live in has begun to allow backyard chickens and I am finally ready to take the plunge but I need you experts to walk me through this! I have no idea what I am doing here. I have limitations. My spouse has grudgingly agreed that I can have some chickens but pretty much everything to do with them has to be on a tight budget because he is not hot on the idea and REALLY not hot on spending a lot of money on it. I have limited space. I live on a lot between a quarter and a third of an acre, and it's odd shaped and on a corner. The area I've been given permission to set up shop is in a shady corner where no grass grows because of the trees overhead. I can't encroach on our already space-challenged back yard much. I don't have a nice compost heap upon which to dump chicken poop or litter, and really nowhere to put one. I have to keep this project decent looking and odor free so as not to irritate my crotchety neighbor. I am limited to 4 chickens over 8 weeks old and none of them can be roosters. Sound like fun? I figured since we are doing the whole circle-of-life-where-does-our-food-come-from thing, I might try to start out with eggs. Someone even gave me an incubator. Sounded like a great idea until I read what a tightrope walk hatching is. I am still determined to try it, but I am fully prepared to fail miserably. Still, I'd rather not if I can help it, so I'm glad you're all here. I figure we can talk coop design and stuff later, first let's get these eggs to hatch!