So, probably get these a lot but it's easier to try to get advice in one post than sifting through the masses.. Sorry if it's obnoxious old business. I have had these hens for about 8 months. I have 3 10 month old Blue-Laced Red Wyandottes and a 3yo Australorp. They have just started laying (hit winter before the young girls started and Old Lady just re-started every week or so). My young girls are on the wild side as they were raised by mom and didn't get enough handling. I think it's for this reason that none of them will lay in the coop but have found their own, exceptionally inconvenient and painful, locations (ie holly hedge.. sigh.) They have always had free range of the yard as they are so darn noisy in the mornings when they're locked up that I've considered getting rid of them. Unfortunately now my dislike of their morning noise has been pushed aside by my despise of crawling under the holly, and the scratches and cursing that ensues each day. I'm also moving to a place where they are not allowed to free range and will have to be cooped up and tractored so am trying to get them used to the idea too. So.. here are my actual questions in case you want to skip the above and get to the dirty work... 1. Tips on keep the brats quiet?! I live in a neighborhood and though others have chickens, which I can't hear over the freeway, I am concerned that they are too loud especially as it starts before dawn. I also personally can't stand it as I'm not a morning person and get pretty darn irritated being woken before I have to be up. I understand that they make noise, and often unbearably so for many, and will re-home or cross that bridge when it comes but I'd like to exhaust all my options first. I also plan to try ear plugs and have read that a radio can help though I'm not sure how I can make that work here but I'll try anything! Shoot your suggestions, no matter how crazy it may seem! Help! 2. My coop is a tractor style but is too heavy so is stationary. It's mesh floor on dirt and has design flaws. I'm considering other options, and hoping when I move to get a different style coop. The biggest issue I'm having is that the enclosed area gets super smelly when I open the door for eggs. I'm trying to be diligent on cleaning but it seems no matter what I do the enclosed area smells. I don't have the tools to add ventilation unfortunately and am not going to buy them for this project. How can I add ventilation, bed or clean in order to keep this smell down? The floor is mesh in the enclosed area as well and it's impossible to keep it drier in there as I live in Western Washington and.. well it's wet and the ground under the chicken coop is wet after rain even though the chickens themselves are not. I am considering adding a mesh panel to the door opening so that I can either open it and still keep them locked up, or have a constant air flow but still accessibility to the nesting boxes. Any ideas how I can add mesh to a door, still be accessible, and use limited to no tools short of a hammer and sheer will? 3. How can I get these girls more comfortable with me? They are very stand offish! I have offered treats and they'll come close..ish.. but the young girls are flat jumpy and terrified of me no matter what I do. Will they maybe calm down in time, maybe if I am diligent and pushy about my treat giving? Any other tips for the newb would be awesome! Thanks all! Edited to add.. Can I use the Deep Bedding Method on a mesh floor or on the wet washington ground? Any experience with mesh flooring or should I just remove it and give it a try? Predators are non-existent in my yard except my own dogs who are unlikely to put in that much effort and aren't out unsupervised much.