I'm getting ready to build a small coop and run on top of a concrete pad. Inside the run will be a layer of shavings / gravel for the hens to scratch around in. I got a small electric fence charger to keep the critters out. Friends and anti-chicken folks tell me the birds will scatter feed and attract rats. I got an iRobot Roomba Dirt Dog, that I plan to sweep up the perimeter around the coop regularly. Thinking of decorating it with aluminum, reflective pinwheels to scare away any animals that might come near the coop. Maybe even put on some pokey metal spines in case the fox wants to get too close. Does anyone else use any "automation" products to maintain the coop? Later, I plan to set up a wireless pan and tilt camera from D-Link so I can keep an eye on things. The D-Link camera allows remote control of appliances like lights and such. I think I can set it up to ring an alarm and turn on lights to scare off the neighborhood fox if I see him on my PC screen or iPhone. It can also alert me via email of movement in areas where there should not be movement.