Hello, I am new to this site. We got bit by the chicken bug about 6 months ago, and are loving every minute of it. Actually, a family member got us started. She called us one day, and said,"come get your chickens." They were 4 Americaunas. One of them ended up being a rooster. At this time we did not have a coop, so we did a makeshift pen. within 2 weeks we lost 3 birds, including the roo. Coyotes got 2 hens and racoon got the roo. This is when I started researching coop plans, and came upon BYC. That weekend we had a coop built. We acquired 4 more birds, a Barred Plymouth Rock, a Buff Orpington, an Easter Egger, and a Silkie mix. About 2 months ago I built a second coop and went and purchased 5 RIR pullets, and 3 of them have started laying this week. We now have 9 birds all together, as the Silkie mix got sick, and we had to put her down sadly. All this chicken coop building has started a little side business. In the 6 months we have been involved in this, I have built 4 coops, 1 rabbit hutch, a raised garden enclosure, and a cat enclosure. As you may have guessed, I like to build things, as I am a cabinetmaker. We have a few other pets as well, a German Shepard, a small terrier mix, and 2 cats. All the animals get along great with the birds, in fact, my German Shepard has become their protector. Sometimes she thinks they want to play, but the girls let her know pretty quick that they don't. I am proud to be part of the BYC community, and very glad I found the site. My wife and I have learned what we needed to know, and are still learning, thanks to BYC.