I was raised around animals my whole life- cows, goats, horses, and pigs.I have always wanted chickens and I am finally going to get some. As of right now we have 0 chickens because we are not ready for them yet. We have to finish the coop and run. I would like for them to be able to run free, but we live in a wooded area and I am worried about raccoons getting them. Our property has a creek that runs through it and you can always find raccoon tracks down there. also have two hawks that live around here, I don't know if they would mess with the chickens, but better to be safe than sorry. Besides the fact that the coop is not ready, we also do not have chickens because we all disagree about what breed to get. My parents want to help out with the coop put a few hens in for themselves to reap the benefits of having fresh eggs. My husband like RIR, I want Orpingtons, and my parents want bantams. They want chickens already laying and I want baby chicks for the kiddos ( my son and 3 nephews) to raise, so that the chicks will be used to them when they become adult chickens. As far as some of my other hobbies - I don't know if I really have any, unless you count running after a three year old a hobby. I been married 10 years this October, I teach school all day, and chase after my son in the afternoon. I want him to experience the same fun I did as a kid with having lots of different critters. Don't get me wrong, we have four German shepherds but that is different than farm type animals. We are currently in the process of getting goats, cows, and pigs too. My concern is the chickens, they can work with the other critters, the chickens are my babies. I started doing research about raising chicken and kept finding myself at BackYardChickens.com. So any advice about chickens would be greatly appreciated.