I think we're ready to take the chicken plunge. We're total newbs but have learned an enormous amount from trolling this forum and reading a couple of books. We live in an urban (but legal!) environment in Southern California and are raising chickens primarily for 1) fun; 2) to help teach our young kids about farms and where food comes from; and 3) eggs. Most of my friends think we're insane for bringing pet chickens into the yard, and who knows, maybe they're right! I'm most interested in getting some thoughts on coop location, but please feel free to comment on any other aspect of our plan. We plan to buy a chick-n-barn and run. I know these prefabs are relatively unpopular here, but I'm not nearly handy enough to build my own and can't imagine spending $2,000 on a fancy pre-fab. I'm fairly well sold on on the barn, but would certainly welcome contrary opinions. The ideal place for the set up is in a part of our yard that's nearly full shade. Is shade OK for the chickens? We'll let them out to range in the yard from time-to-time, but for the most part, they'll be shade birds. Is that healthy? We'll probably start with 4 standard hens, probably several different breeds, just for variety's sake. The Mypetchicken breed selector seems a great resource. We're looking for very docile (we have young kids) good layers. We're thinking about Ameraucanas, Australorps, Delawares, and Wyandottes. Sound good? Other recommendations? I'd be very grateful for any other thoughts. Thanks in advance.