Hi everybody, I live in northern CA and have had the chicken urge for a long time. Finally, earlier this year after some difficult setbacks, I decided that life was short and that I should go for it. During the winter, I bought a coop and built a fenced area for them to roam a little. Finally, in March, I brought my little flock of 5 home from the feed store. 2 australorps, 2 easter eggers and 1 buff cochin for fun. So far, so good. They are nearly 12 weeks old now and seem really happy in their set-up. Watching them, interacting with them and solving their little issues is a major stress reducer in my day. I love the cochin, even though I know she will not be a good layer, and I have begun to dream of a blue cochin in my future... I also have 2 dogs and 2 cats. One of the dogs is VERY interested in the chickens, and I'm not sure what her intentions are, but they are well segregated from each other. She and the cochin sit and stare at each other from each side of the fence for hours. The other dog and the two cats could care less. Having a few chickens is legal in our town, but I still worry about the noise factor when they start laying. I've been to this page so many times and have gotten great information from it, so decided it was time to join so I could post in forums, etc. I'm glad that sources like this are out here!