Hello all, I am very new to chickens. When I was around 10, my grandmother and I talked my parents into letting me participate in the 4H chick-chain. I was just too young to really enjoy them. I am now a little older and my husband and I have decided to get two hens for our “urbanish” backyard. So, we do not have any chickens yet. We are in the process of building a coop. I bought the plans for the PlayHouse coop from www.isthmushandyman.com. It looks to be the right size and protective enough. We live in North Knox County, Tennessee. We are planning to keep our chickens as pets, to enjoy their fresh eggs, not to show. I’d love to have two Ameraucanas. I am currently on the waiting list of a breeder in Pikeville, TN. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll just try to get two friendly, relatively good egg producers. I’m thinking a couple Buff Orpingtons, I want something that I can give lots of attention to and that are a little fluffy. Raccoons have been known to frequent our yard. I love to garden, but we have terrible soil, the thought of having two little compost producers excites me! My husband and I have only one child, a spoiled rotten 18 pound tabby cat named Mortimer. He is an inside cat and I know he will despise the chickens, as he does every other living creature besides myself. He plays outside for a few hours everyday, to keep his weight down; he does do a good job of keeping stray dogs and raccoons out of the yard. He is fearless. As I have no real chicken experience, I’ve read a few books and blogs, if anything I have stated above makes no sense, or you think I’ve perhaps made the wrong bird breed selection, please let me know. I am only going on what little information I’ve been able to obtain mostly from personal blogs and a few message boards. That’s why I’m here, to get real advice from real people! Thanks again!