Hello everyone. I have been lurking around here for a little while now, reading up on all the fantastic threads here. What a great community! A little about me. I am in California. Two kids and no pets at the moment. Growing up I had tons of animals, dogs, cats, horses, chickens, ducks, geese, etc. So, I sort of know what I am getting my self into. Sort of. Recently my wife and I decided to get a couple of chickens for the backyard. Literally, 2. Our goal is to have some eggs and have them be good pets for us and the girls. Though we are in a suburban type setting, we have plenty of room for them and the weather is quite mild. The yard is all fenced in, so we have very little in the way of predators. Unfortunately I have a family of raccoons that visit my yard every night. I think they will have to be "discouraged" from coming back. I am now trying to decide if I should build a coop, or purchase one of those cheap ones off of ebay or amazon. I have about a 500 dollar budget for the coop/run so I can't go real extravagant, but I want to make sure that the quality will last at least for a few years. Anyone have any thoughts on those sub 500 dollar units on ebay and amazon? Is it a good starter or should I stay away? Think that is pretty much it for now. Looking forward to participating here. thanks!