OK. I have been bugging my wife to let me keep chickens for a year. She always refused. Last week a chicken got loose in our neighborhood and it is happily living wild in our woods, dodging our hawks, 'possums, coyotes, and god knows what else. Now she wants chickens. Go figure. I guess the proud little hen has inspired her. But we aren't allowed to eat them, just the eggs. She'll come around. I live in an urban area. We aren't allowed to have chickens here unless our property is over two acres. I did the math and came up with roughly 2.07 acres, thanks to my patch of flood-basin woods. If anyone wants to dispute this, they can hire a surveyor! I am the only one in the 'hood with a yard so big, so I suspect some of the neighbors might be peeved; so I want to keep my chickens unobtrusive. I only plan on having 4 or so. I guess I could go with bantams, but it seems like 6 bantams make less egg than 4 standards. I have 3 ideas. First, I can enclose my 10X10 bottom deck. This would offer plenty of space, but the chickens would never recieve direct sunlight (woods on all sides) or get to walk on natural ground. It is also connected to my house via a sliding glass door and I think mess might be a problem. How would I deal with litter? Would a light covering of sand that I hosed off into the woods 2-3 times a week do? 2) I could fence off a section of my garage and put a small run outside. This has most of the disadvantages of the deck idea, but it is well insulated and the chickens would always be out of sight. Clean up could be a problem. 3) I could build a small (3x4x2 or so) coop onto my lower deck, with a ramp to a 5X10 run on the side of my house. This option uses a smaller amount of space, but gives the chickens their only shot at actual fresh air, sun, and ground. I think a deep littler method would work well here, unless it produces huge drifts of filth, then I guess I could use gravel with regular maintenence. Not sure. So, you fellows with experience, which seems best? Or ar any of them feasible?