Okay, I found this site doing a search for "chicken tractors". I'm very intrigued by the idea of raising most of my own food given the hormones and chemicals in everything and that at 6, 2 and 1 my children can plow through four gallons of milk a week. I think I have the milk thing solved and moved on to the dozen and a half eggs they are consuming. SO - I grew up on a farm and as a little girl we had chickens. One winter all their feet froze off and my father got rid of them. It scarred me for life. In the hope of not having another picture of little feetless chicken-cicles stuck in my mind, I need advice. I want to start really small, especially since my city raised dh's response to "chicken's are a lot of work" was, "you pick up the eggs, what's the big deal". He doesn't seem to grasp the difference between an Easter egg hunt and raising chickens - Anyway, I need two things: 1. Can anyone recommend a design for a small (very small) moveable chicken coop that could survive some winter conditions. I live in central Illinois. We only have an acre in a very small town so I don't want to destroy part of my yard. (Checked the village ordinances - plus, I can hear someone's rooster crowing - so I think we're okay.) 2. How do you raise chickens to eat? Do you raise them from eggs? And then don't you need a rooster? How much does it cost to "feed out" a chicken? (We were a cow and pig farm after the feetless disaster. I can still see those poor chickens flapping around.) Basically, I have no clue what I'm doing. I've been lurking here for awhile and decided to just ask and see what responses I get. I really want to eat "real" chicken and "real" eggs. I also want my kids to have good things to eat. I grow a garden each year, but haven't gotten into composting. Once again, no clue where to start and that isn't something we did years ago. Anyone who could recommend a book, that might be good. I learned about everything else from books. Thanks in advance! And I particularly loved the thread on killing the chickens. Weirdly, it was hysterically funny. I could just see myself trying to stuff the head of a chicken into a traffic cone.