Hi there! I've been lurking and reading here for a while, but I'm just too excited to refrain from posting... I apologize if you are all sick of this sort of question: I will finally allow myself to purchase some chickens in the spring! I'm ridiculously excited and I'm planning now- 1. because I'm totally new to the world of poultry and 2. I will be scavenging much of my building supplies, so the more time I have to stockpile, the better. We have an 80 acre farm in Southwestern WI. As it stands now, the old chicken coop is out of the running for many reasons (too close to the house, too full of my grandmother's 'collectables' etc.) and the barn is pretty dank and leaning, I'd pretty much be putting the chickens directly into the predators' mouths, I think. I can build a coop and run nearly anywhere I want to, but I have no idea what is best suited to their needs. We've got 1. Grass/lawn that is adjacent to woods' line- (some of it flat, some of it hilly, just grass, all easily fenced and a coop built on the spot, but I'm worried about it being close to the woods where chickeneaters live) 2. paddock area- it's big, it can be fenced (save for the scrawny trees I'll have to cut down so I can put a top on the enclosure), it's got flat grass, prairie grass and spring water available but it can get muddy in spots in the spring and it's up behind the barn, so a little removed from our backyard hang-out. 3. lawn in front of the barn- by our raised bed gardens, in our common traffic flow, not as much room for a sprawling enclosure (but still a good amount) What do I need to consider? I've been reading about digging in fences, electric wire, enclosing the run etc. and it sounds as if I'll be in for the same cost no matter where I choose to situate the whole deal. Is it any less safe to situate them near the barn or the woods? Will being any closer to human traffic cut down on predators? I mean, I'll be up with them at least twice a day, hopefully more than that but bare-minimum is morning and evening. Any information is most appreciated; I feel so blessed to have all of this land to use, but I want to use it right!