Hello! I recently decided to get into chicken raising, and have found so much helpful advice on BYC! I have always loved eggs and am used to shelling out $3-4 for "organic" eggs at the grocery sotre, but lately I've wanted to be closer to my food chain, so I decided to get a couple of chickens. My wife and I got married at the beginning of the summer and moved to Fort Worth, Tx. We have a large back yard, so I thought we could handle a couple of chickens. We also have a dog, Merrick, who has not been able to chill out around the chickens yet. Hopefully with time he will be able to be outside and not try to kill them. I built my first coop mainly out of free wood that I could find on Craigslist or a highway rebuilding project that is going on near my house. I ended up buying one sheet of plywood, some chicken wire, and some hinges. The coop itself probably cost me $35 to make. Add to that the expense of a bag of cedar chips, a waterer, a staple gun (for stapling the chicken wire to the coop) and two chickens, and I would say that I'm in two chickens for around $100. We decided to start off with just two to see how it goes. We bought one buff orpington and one black australorp. The buff is Wilma and the black is Betty. They haven't really taken a liking to me yet, but I hope they'll come around. I usually try to bring something tasty out with me when I go see them. They have pretty good instincts. I've been surprised at how readily they go to their coop at night and will lay eggs right in the nesting boxes. I let them out yesterday evening to free range a bit, and they seemed to enjoy it. They won't let me pick them up, though, so I had to kind of herd them back to their coop. I've been feeding them black soldier fly larvae that I inadvertently started growing in my "stack-o-tires" composting bin. I am trying to figure out a way to get them to self harvest from the stack o tires method, but maybe I'll just have to build a new bin just for them with a ramp and everything. Anyways, hello to everyone, and thanks for such a great community here. If it wasn't for BYC, I probably wouldn't have gotten started, and I've been so pleasantly surprised to find that having chickens isn't that big of a deal- it's really kind of easy!