Those of you with ADD or ADHD, BEWAREE!!!! THIS IS A VERY!! LONG QUESTION! Lol. Ok, where to begin?? Well, I guess I'll start at the beginning. About 3 months ago my mother finally answered my never ending question of "Can I get chickens?" They reply was a hesitant "Yes, But only after we come back from vacation." Well we went off to vacation a few weeks ago and now were home again. I talked to my mother and father again today, and on Monday we begin getting ready for my chickens!! But here is where my questions come in. You see, I've been trying for the past 3 months to find out the answers to my questions on the internet, but every site seems to contradict the other. One says you should start with chicks, another says first timers shouldn't have chicks (I think that was only one site that said it though), one says you need to let your chickens run loose, another says that you should keep the chickens fenced in. So here are my never-ending questions. 1) Me and my father have decided to convert an old shed into my chicken coop. The shed is fairly large and is made out of cement. My dad says that it would be no problem to gut the place totally and to cut out an opening for the chickens to go out to their pen through. (I have already killed the "no fences" thing, 1) because my mother has a garden, 2) Because I'm afraid that my not-so-honest neighbors would steal one and 3) Because of all the dogs living around me.) We finally can now come to my question. What goes into a chicken coop?? I've heard about perches and nest boxes or whatever and am totally confused. I'm going to have to build the nesting boxes with my dad, so I need a design I can use (And money is kinda an issue with my dad, cause he dosn't want me to spend a lot cause he's afraid their just gonna become pets and have no use for them also, my parents are missionaries and money is kinda a strain, but I'm getting to all of that). So I need to know what should go on the floor (Oh and I should just mention that were missionaries in Jamaica, so that has to go into consideration when helping me!). should I use hay? what would be the best way of cleaning all that? How high should the nests be from off of the ground? The structure is about 15 feet long and 10 wide. And height is about 10 ft. I have two windows on the side walls and on the back wall will go the chicken door. So what do I need and where does it usually go? I heard I also need to drill large holes in the top closer to the roof to allow carbon dioxide and stuff to escape. And What kind of glass should go in the windows? Right now its all boarded up. Also, We had a cockroach problem in that shed, and nothing was ever done, we've pretty much wanted to tear down the thing, until now (It really is very structurally sound though). Should I do something to treat the place for bugs or anything? I really think that once it's gutted, we'll be fine, but I don't want anything to destroy the nice stuff I'm about to put in. 2) What kind of chicken should I get? I Live in Jamaica (as stated) so I need a chicken that can make it through hot temps all year of between 70F in the winter and between 80-100f in the summer. And what precautions can I take to keep my birds happy and healthy in such weather? I see other families who have chickens, but until lately I never really cared to ask about how they took care of them or anything. I will be going to the home of one of the other pators in my church to find out about raising chickens in JA, but they run a childrens home, so their chickens are for eating, so I'm not really sure that he can help me out for much more than taking care of my chickens. 3) Should I start off with pullets ( thats the one thats about to start laying eggs right?) or with chicks? My parents have agreed to let me decide. I'm not sure what the pros and cons of both are. 4) I already know that I want 3 hens and a rooster (and that's only to say I want 3 girls and a boy. I don't want any of you fluent chicken experts to say "But I thought you were thinking about starting chicks first") Now I have questions about the rooster. Can he be kept with the hens at all times. And if he fertilizes one of my hens eggs, is it still okay to eat?? And If I can't keep the rooster with the hens, then where do I keep him? 5) Along with the whole hen, rooster thing. If I want to have chicks to sell or raise, do I just leave the hen alone with the eggs? Will she become "broody"? Do I have to just continue taking her eggs and just wait until she becomes "broody"? And if she becomes broody and I don't want chicks yet, can I just take the eggs? Will that emotionally scar her? Will she scar me?? I can't think of any more questions that I have right now, but I'm sure that more are to come. Just please don't refer me to any online stores! It cost a bundle for shipping! And please don't tell me to go to Home Depot. There are no home depots in Jamaica. But please recommend the things I should need. I'm going to ask around to find out where I can buy chicken fee... OH!! What kind of feed should I get?? lol. I'm gonna ask around for stores that I can buy chicken supplies at. PLEASE HELP ME!! I will be eternally grateful for all you do!