Hello, My name is Renee, 34, from central Massachusetts. I am 6 months new to raising chickens...its a life-long dream of mine. I have a husband, two young children and 11 new family members (4 Orpington, 4 Plymouth Rock, and 3 speckled Sussex). One of them just started laying a few days ago! The eggs quite small so far and the laying has been sporadic (two outside the coop and two inside the nesting boxes). I knew they started laying one day because I found an empty shell on the ground. We have been out there multiple times a day to search. The chickens, at first, had a hard time getting used to the coop and wanted to sleep under it at night. We originally started off with 16 chicks but a month ago some four legged animal was able to reach in and rip the heads off some of our chickens in the middle of the night. After that trauma, we now have double protection not only with the strong 2x4 rectangle wire fencing above and 1 foot deep (which we had initially) but we also have 1/4" squares galvanized steel covering the inside. It is now Fort Knox. We also blocked their access to underneath the coop and they learned to go inside the coop fairly quickly. Tonight, we let them free-range in the evening before it got dark to see if they went back to their coop and they returned just as we hoped! They are funny because they always sit on the roost in a certain order...and one of the orpingtons "Rapunzel" (named by my daughter) always tries to stay out past curfew.