HI ! I'm Jeri: I'm in the research stage of considering starting a tiny flock (2-4 hens) next spring so may be asking lots of questions. My chicks will need to be heat and cold hardy, I have no power source in my yard a am finding the information on breeds fascinating. I'm sure this will be an interesting journey. I'm in Independence Missouri have a normal neighborhood size yard that backs on to a quiet wooded area of a city park. City codes allow hens but no roosters. The woods extend down to the Missouri river so lots of predators, the raccoons being very aggressive (they managed to do about $8,000 dollars worth of damage to my house a couple years ago getting into my attic). I had a flock of chickens years ago in the county that were killed by coyotes when they were pullets as we only had a chicken wire fence. My year ahead planning is because I plan on building a secure coop and run for them yet not spend a small fortune on it. I'm single and kids are grown but have no qualms about tackling projects as I am remodeling my house mostly by myself. My chickens will be mostly confined though want a moveable covered pen so they can forage in my fenced yard and pop them into fenced organic raised beds in the fall and early spring. I have 2 dogs I don't think either would try to hurt a bird (I have a tiny Quaker parrot) but one is a lab/Rottweiler mix who is too active and thinks she is little. We also have lots of hawks and an occasional eagle who hunt over this area so they need overhead protection if I'm not out in the yard.