Hi, I've really been wanting a hen house to raise farm fresh eggs for my family since we eat a lot of eggs. When I was searching for a home, I went to look at a house and in the backyard, the lady had a chicken ark and 3 hens. I talked to her about her chickens for about 30 minutes while looking at her house. Every since then, I've been stuck on the idea of raising my own chickens. I have two daughters 5 and 7 and a step son 7 and I really think they would enjoy this also. I've been in my new home for about a year (ironically a few houses down from this ladys house) and it came with a nice sized lot. I have off and on been researching this for a year and I overheard a co-worker talking about wanting to start a hen house and of course I had to put my two cents in!!! soooo, now he's planning to drive to a hatchery and get his chicks so he doesnt have to pay shipping charges and can order a smaller amount. Only thing is to do this, he has to get a minimum of 15 chicks. So, he said if I wanted he could pick up my order too. which, brings me to this forum because I am now in the stages of planning my coop but now I'd like some advice as to the best practices on raising happy and healthy chicks and chickens. There is so much information out there and some of it is contradicting. I would like some advice from people just like me......So any advice I would Love to have as far as best supplies what to do, what not to do. I am trying to do this the most economic way possible. I have already seen some good topics I will have to visit. So please don't hesitate to comment... I have decided on having at least 9 chickens and NO rooster and the breeds are as follows: White Plymouth Rock, Barred plymouth Rock, Black Australorp, Buff Orpington, Light Brahma, Buff Brahma, Dark Brahma, Rhode Island Red, Araucana-Ameraucanas. I will have one of each. I chose these for their cold hardiness and Dolcile nature as well as their color.