Hi all! I've been a chicken owner for about 5 months now. I started with two pullets (a few weeks old or so, fully feathered but still small) and soon after added four more to the mix. The two bigger girls: Buff Orp and Red Comet, the added days old babies: 1 Black Aus, 1 White Silkie and 2 Amaraucanas. Sadly, I lost all but the Buff Orp (Chickie-Lou) to predators; two one night then three the next night. I hadn't done enough to protect them and underestimated the prowess of our local predators. It was a sad time at our house. I have since brought home two Welsummers and of course still have Chickie-Lou. Chickie-Lou roosts in a cardboard box that's about 1x1 lined with hay and set up in the kitchen. Yes, she sleeps in the house at night; we were taking NO chances until a very secure coop could be built. Chickie-Lou has become quite attatched to me and seeks me out over anyone else when she's in the house. I guess because my three-year-old little girl chases her around the house and bosses her around (but I think she secretly enjoys it). She has come to enjoy a few treats from us as well; ripped up pizza-bread sticks, crushed graham crackers and warm chicken mash are her favorites. She recognizes the pizza when it comes in the house and will leave my side to go beg for some. She has become a real part of the family and we just love her! Our Neighbors have three chickens (one black sex-link, and a guinney (sp) rooster and hen pair) that Chickie-Lou hangs out with during the day but at dusk she's ready to come in. She visits with us for about an hour or so and then goes to her bed in the kitchen, on her own, and stays put for the night. The worst of it all is cleaning up the poo. Ugh! I seriously need a chicken diaper!! I've come to this site to learn more about keeping chickens for eggs and possibly meat (although never Chickie-Lou) for the purpose of added self sufficiency and less dependency on outside sources for basic needs, even if on a very small scale. I do not want a chicken farm, but when its all said and done I'll probably have more than I ever bargained for because they're so irresistable and really do make great pets.