I have been searching the web today looking for everything I could find about raising chickens for laying eggs. This is the best site out there so good job. I'm a 16 year old guy and I want to get started in raising chickens for laying. Both my parents homes are zoned to allow a small number of chickens and at this point I only was 2-3 anyway. I've made blueprints with help from what I've seen and read on this site for a good sized coop and my father said he would help build it. The only problem is that my mother does not want chickens in her yard, even though I was planning on bringing them between my parents homes (surprising as she is from a farming family). She thinks that all they would do is cause a horrible smell. And since I'm at my mother's house 70% of the time, I don't want to just leave them at my dad's because he has a condition that keeps him in the hospital for extended periods at random. So i guess my first question is...What kinds of things could I explain to my mom to help convince her? Second, Do chickens smell all that bad? I've helped at my friends large farm, and the chicken coop didnt seem so bad to me. And third, if I was able to convince her, what types of hens are both good for beginners and for laying? I don't want to overwhelm myself and cause any unnecessary deaths of the birds.