I'm a newbie as well. We just started raising chickens this spring. It was all Dave's idea to just have a couple chickens for eggs and dinner. Boy am I glad he suggested it. We love them. He started out building a small inexpensive coop which which by the way ended up being what seems like a tornado proof coop (but still small) and costing a small fortune. We only have 1 leghorn rooster, 4 golden buff hens, and we have had 6 meaties at a time since March (for a total of I think 25 to 30 all summer). We want to keep it simple so we dont loose interest. Our hens have been laying eggs for about a month now and boy are they yummy!! The meaties taste pretty good too. The rooster is another story. He sure is ornery. Chases us around the yard and even goes after the dog.