We live in the suburbs and I would really like to have 3-4 hens to provide us with eggs and entertainment We have a spot for a small hen house and run and I would really like to let them roam freely in our backyard. I had just about had my family convinced until my DH asked about them popping on the patio. Now, an occasional hosing off I do not mind but I do not want to have a constant mess with flies all the time! Can anyone give me some insight or advice? I would really love to have our own hens and our own fresh eggs, I don't mind the daily work of feeding, watering, putting them away at night, letting them free in the morning... but I do not want to turn my little yard into a big mess....maybe chickens really are best left to farms?