I would like to start raising chickens for eggs (possibly meat). I have 3 little boys and they eat 2d a week. We live outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. I know nothing about raising chickens but have several close friends who have them and will help. My husband is fantastic with tools, building, mechanics. He can figure out anything you throw at him. I'm a lucky woman! I'm happy to hear any advice you have to give! I would like to 'do it right' the 1st time and not skimp on the coop, breeds (would like prolific layers, gentle, interesting looking eggs... Was researching Australorp, Lavender Orpington, Cinnamon Queen, Blue Ameraucana... Thoughts?), feed (organic and soy free), etc. I'm not rich but we understand (from other ventures) that doing things this way usually works out better. We eat organic and live as naturally as we can. This also means we eat pizza when we get the urge or its a busy night so we are not 100% clean eaters! I also have two large dogs who I'm sure would love a feathery snack so the hens can't roam, we need a secure area. How do I ensure they have enough plants and animals to eat when I have to fence them in? I can plant them a little garden if that helps. How do I keep snakes away? Thank you for creating such an amazing place for us to learn. I have spent hours reading so far. I have so much to learn and I am thrilled to get started with my new education and adventure!