Hi there - I am in the planning phases of adding a small (4-6 birds) to our already crazy life that consists of 4 children (almost - baby # 4 due in a few weeks), a super hyper but lovable lab mix doggy, and my husband and I. We have a big back yard and have a big garden, and are eager to add chickens to the mix. We are taking it slowly and hoping to learn lots on this forum and also maybe find out from people around us best places to purchase feed/pullets/supplies. Excited to have "girls" but want to do it right! One basic question - should we pull up all the plants in the area we plan to have a run? (we will let the birds out in the yard whenever we can supervise them but they will also have a coop/fenced in area - we have lots of hawks/etc. The area we plan to put the coop has previously had a shade garden w/ ivy - we've mostly pulled it up and plan to put a mix of mulch/sand there where the run will be - does that seem sufficient? I read somewhere ivy not good for chickens. Thanks!