I'm new to raising chickens! My husband received a dozen fresh eggs from someone at work and my interest was piqued! I started reading about back yard chickens, then soon found out an acquaintance had chickens. I went to her home to see her chickens and I was hooked!!!! She has since become a very good friend and my "walking encyclopedia" of chicken knowledge!! I've yet to find anything she doesn't know! I have since found out that another neighbor had chickens and a very large bobcat (!) came into his yard and took his chickens as his Father-in-Law stood at the window and watched!!!! I don't live in the country or the woods so this really has me freaked out! I grew up in the city so the prospect of wild animals, other than birds or squirrels, coming into my yard to eat my pets is scary! Anyway, I want my coop and everything set up and ready to go before I get my chickens. I am looking at a used coop with PVC pipe for the feeding and a 50 gallon water barrel included. My friend thought this was a great coop, so I'm going see it tomorrow. I have already read a thread on BYC about how to clean it before I put my chickens in. The hard part will be figuring out how to move it! I know I need to bury hardware cloth (I don't really know what that is...), around my coop to prevent predators digging in for a chicken dinner. I think I know about how much square footage per chicken I need. I am going to have a rooster to "grow" my own flock! I know about "deep bedding" and the nesting boxes, and having a roost for my hens. I know I need to keep my coop clean, especially since I'm in the city, to keep the smell out and my hens (and rooster!) healthy and happy! I know about keeping the mites away from my chickens, and something else my friend told me, I can't remember what its called, but you put antibiotics in their water for a week and throw away their eggs to get rid of it. My friend has informed me where to get my chicken feed and what kind. I know I'll need a heat lamp for the winter. My friend also has a solar light in her coop to help her hens lay eggs. Don't really understand why they need the light, but I'm going to get one. My friend raises her chickens for eggs and meat. She has discussed how she slaughtered her chickens, that she looked at it as when she was "cleaning fish" after fishing. Now I do fish and have cleaned fish. At this point I believe I would like to raise dual purpose chickens, but I haven't ever seen one slaughtered, much less do it myself. So we shall see... I do know I want chickens that are "hardy" and difficult to kill/harm at first! I really don't feel secure in my knowledge of chickens to get chickens that are sensitive to certain things yet. I am concerned about my dog interacting (or not!) with my hens. Got to get reading on that! My 2 daughters and myself are SO excited about raising chickens! My husband thinks I'm nuts, but knows when I get something in my head, it has a habit of appearing! This should be fun! Maybe I'll turn into a country girl after all (as long as I can still get Chinese and pizza delivery!) Wish me luck!!!!