Let me start by telling you a little about me. I'm from south Louisiana on a 9 acre slice of heaven. I have two boys, age 7 and 4. They are everything to me and we do everything together, from hunting/fishing to science projects to deciphering common core math. My oldest loves nature and my wife suggested that we start to raise some chickens. 1. for the eggs obviously but 2. also and more importantly for the experience for my boys, seeing nature grow and flourish. We have 3 dogs (all inside) so I have experience with animals. I grew up hunting and fishing, so the "disgusting" parts of this new undertaking won't bother me. My grandparents also had dairy cows as I was growing up, and I still remember those cold mornings milking the cows before school. That being said, I have no idea about how to raise chickens. Which led me here. I have a vast amount of questions, many of which I have been able to find simply by searching and reading. I have 9 acres, of which mostly is wooded, which will come with natural chicken predators I assume. I live in the country, so no city ordinances of any kind, and no close neighbors to worry about. I'm not planning on getting started with live baby chicks until the spring, so I want to have all my ducks (chickens?) in a row before then. So here we go... I have plenty of room but would like to keep the chickens contained, mainly for their safety. Do I need to fence an area in? I've read about chicken runs and chicken tractors, however I'm not sure what they are. What breed of chicken would be best for a beginner. One that lays 3-4 eggs a week but is also friendly around little kids. I figured on 4 hens, do I need a rooster too? I would guess so, I remember that birds and the bees talk with my dad. Basically these are just my beginning questions, I want to do it right and I'm sure my boys are going to love this. Just trying to get ahead of the curve before D-Day. Thanks in advance!