Just found out that my County is now allowing hens in residential areas (started last year unbenkownst to me). Restrictions are kind of tight, but doable. Got plans for a coop and run after looking on here and am planning to order a few Marans for spring after also reading posts and seeing the eggs and hens (if hatcherys ever start taking Spring bookings). One of the kids wants Polish but I had hundreds of assorted rare breeds growing up and dont remember them laying all that well and we got to be picky given the restriction on the number of hens allowed. Should be interesting for the kids, can't wait to order. Got to get the coop built and inspected over the winter. meanwhile getting impatinet for Spring 2015 hatch dates...... Never heard of using sand or PDX before reading here, but might give them a try.