Glenn and I have had chickens for several years now. Our first batch was kept in an old outbuilding of our nephew's farm. (Where we lived at the time was not a chicken friendly neighborhood!) When our chicks hatched all was good for a few weeks - until the dogs on the farm got a hold of one and then over the next two weeks they went through all the chicks and then moved on to the hens. Only the rooster survived, who was smart enough to move himself from the coop and run that had become a killing field down to the horse barn where he roosted high above the hay stall where he lived for several months before disappearing one weekend. Two years ago, when we moved to a property with plenty of land in farm country I built our first coop - or more accurately, converted an existing structure to a coop. (See more pictures of it in Our Coops album.) We were finally neighborless! A friend of ours gave us a few of her chickens and we've been enjoying eggs since. At first we kept them in the coop and the run only. One day while working in the garden, which is right next to the chicken run, I noticed them following me back and forth, so I thought I’d take a risk and let them out to free range and they haven’t spent one day stuck in the run since. Every morning we let them out, even when we go to work, and they are still on our property to greet us when we return at the end of the day. Occasionally, we have to deal with people who stop to let us know our chickens are out - we just smile and say thank you. I had to build gates to keep them from pooping on our huge covered porch but on the plus side we have no ants or spiders, which is saying a lot for how rural our property is, surrounded by cornfields and woods! Now if only they would eat the stink bugs!Because the coop I made two years ago was so small we haven’t had more than 6 chickens at time and hubby has become obsessed with slaughtering chickens. He spends his free time watching videos on YouTube. He wants more chickens and has already purchased a plucker! That’s why I am currently building a new coop to accommodate 25 birds. If you can draw it you can build it and BYC has been a huge help in giving me ideas, then and now, in designing both coops and I figured it was time I stopped lurking and became a member.