I've been bitten!!!!! .... by the poultry bug! Well, where do I start? I've always been interested in self-sustainability. I think it is a great thing for our own health, physically and mentally, and wonderful for the environment. I have wanted to have chickens for a long time, but the circumstances have never been right. But now it seems like it's going to happen. My oldest brother used to keep all kinds of poultry, but I know he had chickens and ducks... maybe a goose or two. Anyways, in the summer of 2011 he was volunteering as a firefighter at the annual Madison Regatta hydroplane race when one of the hydroplanes struck the rescue boat that he was in. He suffered some pretty serious head trauma and was in a coma for 17 days. Since then he has been bouncing from one nursing home to the next and also to and from a rehabilitation center for those affected by any type of traumatic brain injury. The good news is he is doing much better than any of us expected. The statistics said he would never wake up, and after he did they told us he would most likely stay in a nursing home his whole life. He has beaten the odds and has relearned many things: eating, talking, writing, walking (short distances with lots of help). My parents have decided to build a new house on 11 acres and are going to connect a separate house for him to theirs. We've decided a great project for me, my brother, and my other brother would be to construct a coop and bring chickens back into his life. As I have been talking to him and seeing what breeds of chickens he may want I have become consumed. He is in awe of these great birds. In response to which ones he wanted, he named a few: rhode island reds, barred rocks, naked necks (turkens). I know my mom will be thrilled with turkens and she will say "of all the chickens he would have to choose those ones!". But I have decided that, based on what I have read, that she will be convinced that they are great birds, if not by me, then by them. When I mentioned a couple other breeds to my brother like araucanas or easter eggers and marans, he told me it doesn't really matter and that ALL CHICKENS ARE BEAUTIFUL. I couldn't agree with him more. Now my other brother and I (mostly me since I am the most excited about it) are left with the challenge of making a coop that is easily accessible from a wheelchair. I've been thinking access to nesting boxes outside, a pan under a roost that can be pulled out from the outside, and having a door that can be closed from the outside (the door that lets the chickens go from the coop to the run). The actual coop doesn't have to be accessible for a wheelchair because 1. I think having a pan under the roost will help keep it clean and 2. even though my other brother and I won't be there all the time, our dad will be more than willing to help out when it needs cleaned. This has become like a family project and if you guys have any more thoughts or insights on anything we could do for the coop or really any comments that would be great! I have done lots of research on here, before and after signing up and I am very excited to be a part of a community that takes care of its members. I know this is a long post, and if you made it this far, thanks for reading!