I joined this site in February 2018, and on Saturday, June 8, 2019 I got my first chickens. I have two Lohmann Browns. They are 19 weeks old and I assume days away from laying. I've called them Eddie and Patsy. I really like this pair. They were named after characters on an old English TV show from the 90s called Absolutely Fabulous. Patsy does lead Eddie around like the TV Patsy did. They're just not as self-absorbed and decadent. I could always swap their water for vodka and see how things turn out. The journey to get to this point took a little longer than expected. A friend of mine that lives north of the city has her own flock. I helped her out with coop building and care for her birds. There is also a family history with chickens. As a kid in the 80s, I used to love visiting my cousins in the 1000 Islands area of Ontario because they had a 50 bird flock, that I now assume were leghorns. Until recently, I thought that chickens were white birds. Foghorn Leghorn, I say, did not alter that misconception. Anyhow, once our municipality allowed for a pilot to test the feasibility for allowing backyard chickens on suburban property, I applied for a licence in April 2018. The pilot allowed for three hens on property that exceeded 535 square yards. I didn't know how big my lot was and it turns out it was 10% under the requirement. The pilot was successful, and the bylaw amendments to permit backyard chickens were made permanent in March of 2019. Rules were relaxed to five hens on 420 square yards. I applied again and this time was approved for my licence. I like the way the city is handling things. They have handed off bylaw enforcement to an NGO headed by a biologist with a specialisation in birds to lead things. I'm not always a fan of bureaucracy, but on its face, the emphases seem to be on promoting animal welfare on an inexperienced population, and acceptance of backyard birds by non-bird owners. The city hosted an information session. A lot of it was basic knowledge. Birds are flock animals, need a clean environment, come in different varieties, have a limited laying period, do not need roos to lay, are great for gardens, will eat every plant you love, crap everywhere and practical things like where to get birds, food, supplies etc. Then, I started building. Armed with lots of wood, fencing, roofing, fasteners, my battery-powered Ryobi drill, circular saw, mitre saw, stapler and boombox, I started building on weekends in May. It was slow going because it was really rainy here. Last Friday, I finished and birds moved in on Saturday. I still need to do something with the walls of the coop to protect it from weathering and rot, but I am really satisfied with the results. I am a little worried about the size of coop. it is 4x4x3. I figure 3-4 birds max can live there comfortably. I chose smaller birds deliberately and built the coop smaller because I did it myself and the plywood was heavy. There is nothing to stop the coop from expanding to the width of the run or even adding a condo underneath. The run is 8x8x6 with a 4x4x3 area under the coop giving them 80 square feet to run around. It has been so hot this weekend, they've hung around in the shaded area under the coop. I also need to improve ventilation. Chicken math is now playing with my head. Two birds will meet my egg needs just fine and what I built will allow them plenty of space to live comfortably. I think that I should have bought three in case I lose one. It must have been a bit for them shock to move. They came from a flock of over 100. They must get bored of each other, especially if one of them just repeats the same stories over and over again. It's not like one can give the other one the slip when they get bored like at a party. Also, it is probably not the best idea to buy just one extra, so I'm considering getting two, then I'm hitting my coop limit in my first week. Overall, it has been a positive experience. I like having animals around. I lost my beagle in March at 15 and my rottweiler in April 2018 at 14. The beagle loved small animals and kids and would have loved chickens crawling on him if what I saw at my friend's place and her free-range birds were any indication. The adventure begins.