Hi, my name is Jackie and for years my family has talked about getting chickens for the house. And for years that dream went unfulfilled. A highly productive organic garden, one squirrel run, and years later, we are finally putting the dream into motion. My father is a great woodsmit, so I figure if he can build houses, dog runs, horse barns, a boat, squirrel pens, and a garden, he could do a chicken coop. I drew out the plans, and can't wait to brag about them. The coop itself is 5W x 6L x 8H and has a fully enclosed space of 12x10x8 that will connect to a part of the garden for foraging (also enclosed). It has 5 nesting boxes, even tho we don't need that many to start, it's nice to have room to grow. A roomy inside with removable perches, slide out bedding tray, and access door to clean the coop out. My father was under the impression that you just get chickens and throw them in your yard, feed them and collect their eggs. Sure they might endure, but I want to do this right, so I've put a lot of research into it. There are still questions I don't have answers to, and I'm sure there are questions that I haven't thought to ask yet. One of my Facebook friends suggested I come here, and the mypetchicken website has been extremely informative. Dad just wants chickens that do great in south Florida and lay tons of eggs. I want chickens that are great in Florida, do well in confinement, highly social, good enough layers, interesting colors/genetics, and have a valuable history. The first breed I looked at and fell in love with was the Ameraucana, and after taking a breed selector test, that was the top breed recommended to me. It was meant to be apparently. As a science teacher, I wanted to get Andalusian chickens, because Gregor Mendel (father of genetics) used them in his studies. But they don't do great in confinement, and we can't keep roosters, so I might get some hens after we get chicken experience and put up the second garden run. I was looking at a few other heritage breeds, and would love to see what a chicken show would be like. I'm trying to get to the south Florida fair before it's over, they are supposed to have tons of agriculture there. Dad just wants layers, but I want to do other things with my chickens. Sadly we can't breed in our housing zone, none the less I'm so excited! Oh, and the reason behind the name Cupcake Chickens - I'm a sugar artist and I bake and decorate cakes and other sweet treats for a living. That and chickens dressed up as or decorated as cupcakes are adorable! I'm also an artist, and want to draw cupcake chickens now. Any chicken I get is going to have the privilege of being named after some sweet treat/dessert. I'm insanely interested in genetics, and have researched horse, dog, cow, and rat genetics for the last 15 years, even breeding some and working with breeders. I'm a very hands on person and would love to find other breeders/owners in my area to get some hands on experience before really diving into this. The goal is have the coop built by June, and get some chicks in April-May. Aside from the light and feeder, we have everything we need for baby chicks, and we are going to build a holding/transition area on the far end of the garden for sick/New/young chickens before putting them into the main coop.