Hi, We moved to our hobby farm just north of Minneapolis, MN in June 2012 and I've decided I want chickens. We currently have 6 Quarterhorses, 3 barn cats, 2 Border Collies and 2 house cats, oh and 2 kids (one's in college in ND). It's a nice group. I've been doing a lot of research, reading books on raising chickens, and spending a lot of time online looking for information on chickens. My husband has agreed to build a chicken coop for me, I'm thinking an 8 x12 one would be appropriate, and I've bought books on that too, as well as keeping the chickens healthy. And, yes, I've been reading them. I was thinking about getting 15 chicks to start, looking at Buff Orpingtons, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Barred Rocks and Black Australorps. I want pretty chickens who lay brown eggs. Just looking at layers, as I can't see my family at this point eating our chickens. What concerns me is what I don't know -- which may be legion. Any suggestions, especially from folks who live in Minnesota or like climate states/areas would be greatly appreciated. I really want to get the chicks NOW so I could have eggs before it gets cold again, but I'm working on controlling that desire -- so looking at the end of March, beginning of April. Also, I expect having the chicks in the unfinished basement will galvanize my husband into building that coop. Thanks again for your help. I'm looking forward to participating in and learning from this group.