Hi! I'm thinking about getting some chickens, mainly for pets, with the added benefit of having fresh eggs. I am in the very prelimiary planning stages. I'm finding out if I am even allowed to own chickens in my city or in my HOA. I've written a few emails, and I'm here on BYC to learn about the basics of chicken care, how to get started, etc. I live in the Chicagoland area, at least two towns around me DO allow chickens, and I'm on the outskirts of town, so I am hoping that I will be allowed to have a few hens. I don't even know where to begin as far as learning about them! I know how to handle chickens and I know chicken anatomy and their basic life cycle as I'm a vet tech, but I don't know anything about husbandry yet! Where do I begin? I don't want to get my hopes up as my HOA may not even allow me to own chickens, but I want to get prepared. I know I'll need a coop and a run. It gets cold here in Chicago in the winter, what is the best kind of coop? What is the best kind of feed? Do chickens need a lot of veterinary care? I have two dogs who will be sharing the backyard with the chickens. (Everyone will be separated or closely supervised, don't worry.) Is there a breed of chicken that is better with dogs and kids? (I also have a 4 year old.) I have been perusing the forums, but there's just so much information I need a guiding hand. =) Thanks so much in advance!