I'm the proud mom to 4 barred rock hens (Helen, Alice, Jane & Sissy). I got them last spring from a family who was moving -- so I got the hen house and the girls together. We had to build them a run, which was a nice weekend project. We've recently 'upgraded' by buying a 10' x 10' dog run on craigslist for only $100, the girls love all their new space. (They get out to free range for 2 or 3 hours every day.) We're going to further upgrade by buying a walk-in storage shed from one of the big box stores and tricking it out as a nice hen house. I live in a rural part of town and *thought* I was already zoned for chickens when I got them, and never did get a definitive answer from city hall. I joined the movement in town (4 Chesapeake Hens) to get the zoning laws changed and after about 6 months we had success. I have an Australian cattle dog who's mission in life is to herd the chickens. The fact that they are in a pen doesn't seem to stop her. She still startles 3 of them, but Helen (the girl at the top of the pecking order) stands her ground and stares at the dog, which drives her bananas, and cracks me up. It's been a grand adventure keeping these feathered pets and enjoying their eggs. I originally got them for the eggs, but have been enchanted by their personalities and antics.