Hi all! I'm not sure where to put this, but here's the story: Well first off let me preface by saying I'm 7 months pregnant and my nesting/gardening instincts are in major overdrive. I can't get enough of just... DOING stuff So I dug up our entire back yard, overturned the crappy grass and weeds, re-seeded, made my hubby put in a retaining wall (couple bricks high) for an organic raised vegetable patch (its about 12x10 )...I've planted all sorts of good stuff... Our yard has a 7 or 8 foot privacy fence all around it... It's small, but decent for a city yard I guess. We only have a neighbor on one side (and I'm pretty sure they're old and deaf) My idea is this... I would like to have the other half build a little mini-coop...raised off the ground in the corner of our yard... Maybe...3x3 or so? With a ramp to get in, and a hinged roof for access. I really don't think we would have a predator problem...never so much as seen or heard of any fox/coon/coyote... plus the fence is pretty intense. My idea is to get maybe a bantam or two and a good layer hen. My expectations is that they will possibly eat the slugs and grasshoppers off my lettuce and spinach? Give us a few eggs a week? Would a bantam and a regular chicken produce too much poo for a little yard? do the chickens absolutely need some kind of mesh enclosure? ( I would make sure the fence was inescapable at the bottom, and keep their wings clipped) We live in Portland, OR. Pretty mild winters. Would they need a heater in the winter? Would hay and a good little chicken-house be sufficient? Your guys' help would be invaluable. Just want to think this through before I got buy those cute little chicks! Also, anyone know where to get some unusual breeds in this area?