It all started about 18 months ago when the school where I work got permission to have 6 chickens. We received them when they were one day old and they were cared for by students and teachers until they were old enough to be put into their new red barn coop with a nice outside run. I started visiting them almost everyday with produce scraps from the Kitchen and quickly fell in love with these Girls! I started thinking that I would like to have chickens of my own, but was discouraged since I live in a house that only has decking around it - no yard with dirt or grass, so I didn't think it would work. Recently, a neighbor that has the same living situation as I do built a coop and run on his decking, and his chickens seem happy and healthy, so I took another look at my space and decided I can do it also! We are just at the beginning stages of planning the enclosure/run and the size and configuration of the coop that will be located inside the run itself. I am educating myself as much as possible and any comments or suggestions would of course be much appreciated! I am looking forward to being the best chicken Mom to my future chickens and to continue to love and feed my school chickens also! I thought I might add a bit more information about myself: I was born and raised in California and live 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge in beautiful Marin County. I am a Co-Director of Food services at a private school here in Marin where we pride ourselves on feeding our students local, organic homemade meals. We have 3 fantastic gardens on our campus where we grow lettuces, kale, chard, spinach, cabbage, beets, carrots, onions and tons of herbs to use in our entrees and on our salad bar. Our lucky school chickens reap the tasty ends, peelings and bits of all the produce we prepare for our school lunch every school day. They also get to have "field trips" to the gardens about once a week to roam around and feast on bugs and other goodies. We started with 6 chicks about 18 months ago and interestingly the one chick the kids named Mr. Snuffles turned out to actually be a Mr.! One of the students whose family has a ranch took him, renamed him Elvis and he is happy as can be. The five remaining Girls have probably long forgotten him. I am hoping that when I get my planned on 4 chicks this summer that they will all be girls. It would break my heart to get attached to them and then have to give up a rooster. I don't think the neighbors would be happy and I don't think it's allowed in our residential area. I guess that will be one of my projects to research among many other subjects to learn as much as I can about raising and caring for chickens. I am looking forward to gaining much more knowledge through all of you members at BYC!