Hi. I'm doing research on keeping a few backyard chickens in a chicken tractor. My goals are to gather a few eggs and collect chicken manure for the garden. I've been reading and researching books and online sites and have pretty much come to the conclusion that I want to do this. I still need to talk to several neighbors to be sure I won't cause a neighborhood problem. The few I've already spoken to are perfectly fine with it. They tell me there were some bylaws and covenants for the subdivision, however, it's more than 25 years old and I never received a copy of it when I bought the house 4 years ago. My lot is just under 1/2 acre. We're in Madison County in north central Alabama. I've read about different breeds and I know I want productive egg layers that lay large eggs. I don't care what color the eggs are. But I want hens that are fairly docile and not tending toward broodiness. I got some great information on this website comparing the many different breeds. I'm particularly taken with the Plymouth Barred Rock, the Rhode Island Red, the Delaware, the Australorp, and the White Leghorn. But I only want 3 hens at most. (I think.) I think we have owls and hawks around here and I know we have foxes, raccoons, and coyotes so my plan is to mainly keep them in a run that is totally covered with 1/2" wire mesh with an attached coop for roosting and nesting. Do hawks hunt during the daytime or would I be safe to let the chickens roam in the garden during the day? One thing I seem to be having a hard time with is finding a place to buy hens. I can find lots of places where I can buy chicks but I'm a little nervous about raising chicks from baby stage. I'd rather buy pullets or 1-2 year old hens that are established. Where do people advertise when they have chickens for sale? Well, nice to meet you all. Hope your chickens are all happy and healthy.