I'm down to one week until the first batch of chicks arrive. The area behind the barn is cleared for the pen and I'm waiting for my father in law to bring me the fencing panels. We'll start with those and expand as necessary (and budget allows). Should I choose to, I could go out about 20 feet from the barn and do up to the length of the barn (somewhere between 30 and 50 feet long, haven't measured yet, but it's BIG) without any extra work. Once the coop (elsewhere on the property) is up, that'll be where the broilers go, but they can start in the barn while C. and I build them a coop. I need to, in no specific order: Clean out the barn & repair critter entrances Set up barn area run Put bedding in barn and (?) outside in the run Build the coop Set up food and water for both sets of birds Set up processing station near garden (water is available, electric close enough to run extension cord) Practice processing! Set up food storage area (its good for up to a month? two?) I talked to my farm-familiar upstairs neighbor and he said that in all the time he's been here, the only predator he's seen was a raccoon a long time ago, and he thinks his dogs scared it off, since he hasn't seen it a second time. If the dogs become a problem w/ the birds, he'll help me fence in an area around the broiler coop or I'll add them to the layers, maybe. Cart, horse. Squeeeeeeee, I cant wait! The kids have already checked with school and while they have to go through formalities, there shouldn't be any problem taking the day off when their chicks arrive later this month.