Hi, My name is Jon, and I think I can say I'm a new member here. I found this site about a week ago and have been reading a lot and looking at the coop designs. As far as my chickens - I don't have any yet, but I will tell you the story and say that I am looking for any hints, tips and advice you all can give. I an an engineer that designs septic systems. I was at a customer's house doing some survey work and he had a flock of about a dozen Rhode Island Reds wandering about. Free range and he had a little tiny rolling coop, maybe 4 x 6, that had two nesting boxes in it. The hens, he said, were born in April 2011, and were laying about 24-30 eggs every three days (that's for the whole flock, obviously). Anyway, he asked if I wanted to buy the flock.... I asked why, he said that he did not want to support them through the winter. Now, my family has been wanting to get chickens for a few years, so I have been doing research on what to get and when. I have the Storey book, a bunch of Grit and Mother Earth News with chicken articles, and a lot of time online. I had decided that we would probably get a few (maybe 5 or 6) Orpington chicks in the spring, but this comes along. It's more chickens than I wanted, and I don't have anything for a coop yet (although I have no problem building something soon). So I told him, anyway, that we would take them ($9 each) and I am gonna be a chicken owner. I would appreciate any advice or helpful hints on what to do right, and make sure that these hens stay healthy, adapt to a new home and new coop, keep laying (even if they stop during the winter that's OK) and generally not make me regret the decision. If it matters, I live on a hillside in the middle of the woods, have nearly no lawn to speak of, but lots of food for the chickens - worms, bugs, wild apples, etc. I also plan on feeding them kitchen scraps, and I have an unlimited supply of pine shavings and wood chips for bedding (from my wood shop and from the local road crew and tree services, respectively). Also have a good custom feed store nearby and a Tractor Supply in town as well. I am going to spend the next few weekends building a coop and run, and hopefully pick up the chickens in mid-October. They will be confined to their coop and run most of the time, although I will let them free-range when someone's home, usually 3-4 days a week. We have the usual predators - raccoons, hawks, foxes, skunks and what we call "coy dogs" seem to be most prevalent. I have to make sure that nothing gets in the coop at night - I'm open to pretty much anything - lights, electric fence, buried fence, whatever.