After a neighbor came by a few weeks ago, mentioning she was taking a class on raising backyard chickens, my wife and I thought it was something we could do also. Well after a bit of internet research, I found this site and have learnt so much, I couldn’t wait the 5 weeks for the class, so went out and bought 2 chicks from the local feed store, an Orpington and a Golden Sex Link. The store set us up with a bag of feed, pine shavings, water and food container so we were good to go. Once home we set up a cardboard box as the breeder, along with a light to keep the breeder at the required temperature. Well our 3 sons took to the chicks immediately, giving them names of Buckbeak and HenRita, taking them out constantly and having them sit on their lap as they watched TV or read a book. Our Daughter who is in college, couldn’t believe we have got chicks and was so jealous. She was home on spring break 2 weeks later, and we went down to the store and got 2 more chicks, a Plymouth Rock and a Rhode Island Red. We were amazed at how much the older two had grown in 2 weeks compared to our new chicks. We put the 2 new chicks in the cardboard box and moved the two older chicks into a bigger space, made from the kids old play pen. I still kept a cardboard box inside with a smaller lamp, and only put pine shavings in the cardboard box, and lined the floor with paper. It didn’t work out too well as they had the pine shavings everywhere, but they did get a better view of the world, and we and our dog could see them a lot easier, and be entertained by their antics. After a few days we put the new chicks in with the bigger ones and there was a bit of pecking order going on, but they settled down quickly, and would all sleep snuggled together in the cardboard box. Meantime I have been working on designing and building my coop. As we will be able to see it from our patio door, it had to look nice, so I designed it to look like a red barn, similar to a few I found on this website. I did a lot of the work in my shed, cutting the wood and painting it and last weekend assembled it outside and put the roof on and made it weatherproof, just in time for the rain we have this week. I still have some trim work to do and to fence in a run next to the coop, but should have it done in the next week or two, ready for the birds to occupy during the day, but take them in at night until it gets a bit warmer. They are now 2 and 4 weeks old, and have made a big difference in our house. The kids have had different friends over on play-dates just to see and play with the chicks. Thanks to everyone who has shared on the website, I have read and learnt so much and know it is a great resource to be able to find answers to any questions or problems that we might have. I have uploaded a few pictures of the chicks and the coop and will add more as it progresses.