Hey all, First time on the forum but I've surfed around the coops pages a few times. A brief intro - Married with 4 children (7, 5, 3, 1). I carpool/commute an hour away to work. We're homeschooling. Neither of us have chicken experience beyond what we've seen at a few friends' places. We have a small garden (250+ sf) and a few fruit trees. I'm trying to do as much as I can 'organicly' (and even that isn't quite right, I'm trying to spend as little as possible on day to daily stuff...) And now we're looking to add some protein and nitrogen (fertilizer/compost) to the 'homestead'. We live in a fairly rural area, but I'm sure it's considered suburbia by many. No HOA and I'm surrounded by ag land. There are a few people in the area who have chickens and/or various other 'farm' animals on their property. As for my goals with chickens: nitrogen, eggs and child-friendly. Oh and my wife wants least smelly. And I want easy to maintain. Nitrogen - I'm sure any old chicken will do. Eggs - I just picked up "Storey's: Raising Chickens" and have been using Gail's grid as a starting point to narrow down the field. My son (7) seems to have taken over the bird selection job from me as he has spent a few days analyzing that grid! He seems to think Rhode Island Whites (and one other breed) are ideal for us. Child-friendly - My kids are naturally nervous around animals unfortunately. So I think their first chicken exposure should be very docile. I have heard New Hampshires are pretty good 'starters'. But this initially rules out roosters (at least that's what my wife and I have agreed to at this point). So that does open up a world of hybrid birds as we would need to buy chicks regardless. Smell - I would think the smell isn't driven by the type of bird, but a function of housing and maintenance (i.e. coop design) for the most part. Right? Any thoughts on minimized the smell? Especially as it related to the design or breed? Maintenance - Since my wife and I have a ton on our plates, and the bulk of the care/maintenance will fall on me and the children, this is a priority (and why I'm here now). I would imagine care/maintenance is probably a function of the coop design and maybe feeding 'style' (free range, paddocks, etc) with some health consideration of breeds that are the main time drivers. Right? Any thoughts on minimizing the time involved? Especially as it relates to the design or breed? Well that's my intro, now off to look at coop/tractor/pen designs... And a big thanks to the powers that be on this forum/site!