I'm Joan in Grand Prairie texas and I want 2-3 chickens! I am an avid gardener and I have a 9 month old brittany spaniel. I've had dachshunds and rabbits in the past that I kept together (they all got old and died, just in case your wondering). so, I figure a Brittany and chickens can't be impossible (plus you get eggs!). I'm currently in the research phase. Drawing plans for my coop / chicken yard and deciding what kind of chickens I want. This changes daily. The coop/run will have to protect them from the dog (at least while I'm not around), a few ferrel cats, hawks, possums, and maybe coons (although I've never seen any around). It's illegal to have chickens within 150 feet of any neighbors home in Grand Prairie and it is also against my HOA rules. I have spoken to most of my immediate neighbors and have their permission, but keeping chickens will involve some risk. I live on a corner lot and my side yard slopes down on top of a 6-8 ft retaining wall with a 6 ft wood fence. People walking by may be able to hear them clucking, but they will be out of view. So far I'm planning on a 3 x 5ft and 4 ft tall coop sitting on cinder blocks with lots of ventilation, hardware cloth enclosed vents, windows, and run. I want to do the deep litter method of manure management (Storey guide says you'll have fewer flies this way). I plan to make the coop out of old fence and maybe pallets ($2.00 at feed store). I want linoleum floors and 18 in up the sidewalls. I want the perch to be 24 inch off floor, 1 nesting box, 1 pop door (sliding up), for possible auto door. I can't decide if it should be mounted inside or outside. Aluminum roof. It will sit on the south side of the house under a small holly tree. The run will be ~ 3x 10 ft, going down the side of the yard in an orchard area. I want the top enclosed. I haven't decided on feeders or waterers. The "nipples" seem like the way to go but it looks like they would freeze in the winter. Does anyone know about that? I like the stove pipe feeders. The chickens I've seen are so pretty. I want one of everything but I think a buff orphington, a wyandotte and a sussex would be nice. However, it doesn't look like you can buy just one, so I'll probably end up with whatever the feed store has. I figure if I start the babies in the house and train the dog to know they belong here (like I did with the dachshunds and rabbits), they should as least tolerate each other. Any thoughts? I have plenty of time.