Hi all, found this forum when googling whether chickens can be fed peanuts, and I gotta admit backyardchickens has the most information out of all of the other sites combined. I was able to buy a home this year, which enabled me to finally get some chickens. Lucky me, before I even had the coop ready, a friend brought me two hens: a silkie and a little bantam (bantam, btw, has been dubbed my watch chicken...she is a little bird with a tude!). I got my coop finished in a hurry and another friend brought me two more: an americana and a star hen. Then I got a leghorn from the auction, who just happens to be my best producer. I'm hoping she induces my other girls to get busy. I converted an already established dog run into my coop pretty easily, since it was already built with a roof and two walls and cyclone fencing on the other two sides. I just screened off the third side, used chicken wire between the eaves (to keep other critters out at night, we have lots of possums and raccoons) and put together some nests and simple roosts (one roost is an olive tree branch.. there's an olive tree growing right next to the coop.. the girls love to scratch in the leaves). My girls seem happy, very little pecking going on and two of them are laying consistently. Now I'm waiting for the others to catch up. City ordinance allows four chickens within city limits. I have five. Oops. They are quiet, though, and my neighbors think I'm really cool. Shhhh. And now, after a hard days work (I'm a computer technician, btw), I look forward to coming home and sitting in the coop with my girls. My cat doesn't know what to think, he's been trying to get inside the coop ever since I added the chickens, but I won't let him in because I'm pretty positive the bantam would have something to say. I was raised on a farm in the North Bay, which is kind of funny. Most people wouldn't think that a Bay Area girl could call herself a country chick, but I can. My family had chickens, cows, horses, pigs, ducks, geese, turkeys, rabbits, dogs and cats galore, fruit trees, tomatoes in the summer, once we had some deer... we were kind of like livestock scavengers. If we were curious about an animal, we'd go to the auction and get one, learn all we could about raising it, see if we could make a profit and either sell it, use it for another purpose (milk/eggs), or butcher it. Thanks for listening. Hope to be on the forums quite a bit.