Hello, I am working on building a new coop, after doing some research on the site here I have a designed picked out and the kids and I will begin building soon. The 'yard' will be 15x35 and the coop will be 4x8 with 5 nests (future growth), located inside the 'yard'. We are getting 4 chickens to start with, 1 for each kid. I am getting the following: Araucanas/Americanas, RIR, White Leghorn, Black Australorp. All hens. I live in sunny and warm California (San Jose). Kids are 11, 9, 6, 3 and a new born that will have his own chicken at some point. Chickens will be 22 week old Pullets, looking for egg production in the Spring. Not in a hurry. I live on 1.75 acres with over 40 fruit trees. The coop and yard will be located under a giant oak tree and also have a black walnut tree in the yard as well. Here are some questions: 1. Mix of egg laying hens, good choice? 2. Yard and Coop, ok size? 3. I have an orchard of 40+ trees, any fruit that I need to be worries about for the chickens? 4. Any issues about free ranging 5 hens on my property? It is fenced, but the 'main gates' while fenced the chickens could easily slip through the wrought iron gate, do I need to put up a mesh netting to keep them from going out the gate? 5. If I free range, what can I expect in the way of feeding the chickens? How will I know they are getting enough food or too much food? 6. What do I use for bedding and flooring on the inside of the coop? How often to I change both?