Hello! We have the luck of actually living on the family farm, although as Pap has gotten older, the farming part has waned quite a bit. Our parcel is 8 acres, although almost all of that is hayfield for the cows my uncle has taken over. I love telling people that I live on a farm--but that my gardens are all urban-style since I have so little land that isn't tree-shaded or hayfield! We moved in going on 4 years ago and each year I have declared it "Year of the Chicken Coop" with very little movement toward that goal...until now! The kids are now mostly manageable at 6 and 3 1/2, so it's definitely project time! CHICKENS: I have been collecting information on coop building for some time, and now I'm finally collecting materials. The coop build is planned around the roof--we are repurposing a heavy duty truck cap with lockable doors on the long sides and windows on the short sides. I plan to build a combo small yard/coop with the roost and laying area enclosed in the rear third. The cap will shelter the entire area. I plan to let the birds free range. We do have lots of hawks (especially with the big open fields above and adjacent) but as mentioned, there's a lot of tree cover. There are raccoons and opossum around, and our first winter we saw fox tracks near an area that I suspected was a den, although they seem to have moved on once the kids started tramping around. I plan to build the coop on a flat stretch with a hill above and below and woods behind that originally was a garden area until the surrounding trees grew over. The area is pretty sheltered and close to the house. I worry a little about the wind, but the treeline above does break it decently most of the year. My biggest worry is that the ground there tends to be wet, especially in spring as all the collected moisture starts moving downhill. I plan to have the coop built by early summer, so I may not address the dirt part of the enclosure until fall. I am hoping that will give us adequate time to train the chickens to free range and come home. THey'll have grass for a little while in their enclosure that way. Any tips on: 1. The training of free range chickens and wing clipping? Needed? 2. Guineafowl? Thinking they'll help with the hawk notification AND ticks! Thanks!