Greetings. Been lurking for a few weeks because I've been pondering raising chickens again like I did when I was a kid. I also used to raise pigeons. After reading hours of posts from so many fine folks from all around the country, I got super excited and just today I bit the bullet and I purchased 17 chicks today from Meyers. And now I've joined my mentors club at Backyard Chickens. Now I'm really jazzed. I've been drawing up plans for a coop for weeks and finally came up with my own plan. So here I go. I have planned for an 8x8 foot coop and 128sqft of run space. I will use river sand for the run and coop floor. I also live on 5 acres and plan to free range them mostly inside one acre where I plan to grow most of the feed for them. Never heard of Volcano California? Most haven't but we're up highway 88 above the Jackson Rancheria Casino in a little town called Volcano. If any of you locals have heard of Daffodil Hill then you know pretty much where we are. About 40 miles from Kirkwood. So that's where my fun will begin. What kind of chicks you may ask? 2 Easter Eggers 2 Olive Eggers 2 Cream Legbars hens and 1 Roo 2 Lavender Orpingtons hens and 1 Roo 2 Black Copper Marans 2 Black Astralorps 2 New Hampshire reds I ordered the smaller breeds two weeks in advance of the larger breeds to give the smaller birds first chance to claim the coop before the big girls grow up and try to get pushy. Well it's worth a try even though as I understand it, most of the chickens I selected are fairly docile and calm. Maybe not the Legbars but they should be fun. Yup. I'm going for the colorful Easter basket with a few good layers to keep us in plenty of eggs. Anyway I hope to chat and meet some of you as time goes by. Coop completion I plan for early May of 2014 and the first chicks should arrive in the second week of may. I already have a brooder. Cheers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!