We live on 8 acres in Southern California. We are in the beginning stages of building our home - plans are at the County for approval as we speak. Bought the property alone, as the home on it went into foreclosure, was vacant for nearly a year, and burnt down in the Witch Creek Wildfire of October, 2007. We have cleared a lot of brush and trees from around the perimeter, and are taking big steps toward fireproofing 100' around where our home will be built. As you can see, there are tons of weeds and goodies for the girls to forage. We plan on building a portable coop this weekend to let them take advantage of the property. But, with so many predators out here - coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions, hawks, vultures, and so on, we cannot take the chance of letting them completely roam free. Not to mention our 2 German Shorthaired Pointers that are dying to get there chompers on our girls. If any of you can give me any advice on getting the dogs accustomed to the chickens, feel free to let me know. So far, we've brought the dogs to the run a few times per day to sniff around and see what the new commotion is all about. As soon as one of them barks or gets too focused on the chickens, we reprimand them. I've been saying "NO! Chickens" to the dogs as their back off command with them. One dog is good...the other is trouble! This is a pic of the back of our coop as we were still building it. It is situated in an east/west postion on our property. Our home will be built up where the water tanks are up the hill. We purchased a 6'x8' wooden shed kit from Lowe's for the coop. It has 2 doors on the other side. There are 4 small vent openings around the base of the coop and 2 large wire covered windows near the top. The run was put together from some fencing materials that we had laying around. Took 2 weekends of shopping and building to do. This is some of our first girls checking out their new digs. We used wooden tree stakes (that had partially burnt) for the perches. For the ladder, we used fallen tree branches. The girls love it! We are going to put in a nice sliding door for them. But, for now, it's a sheet of wood that is screwed in. It pivots to open and close loosely at the moment. This is my hubby with our rooster. Named the roo "Barry". As soon as we let Barry in with the girls...he did his duty with several of them. I had Barry White's song in my head, "Let's get it on"...LOL! These are our nesting boxes. Hubby drilled some holes into the top to for extra ventilation. Now, if we can only get the hens to use the boxes more often instead of the floor! (It doesn't show in the pics, but we have 2 large cut-outs just below the roof line for cross ventilation.) This is the run. We have 13 hens and 1 roo. We are putting up a roof on 1/2 of the run this weekend. In the meantime, I put up a few tree branches temporarily for shading in the lower left corner (we put more on top of the run just after taking this pic), as it is hot here today. Hard to see, but in the lower right corner of the run, I put up a plain branch as a perch. They've used it and just beneath it, they wallow in the dirt. So far, so good. They seem to be happy...laying eggs and roosting comfortably.