Hi all. I have a wonderful neighbor whose big black chicken likes to jump our 6' wall and visit me while I garden, which was fine with me. They thought I was lonely so they bought me my own chicken last month. We scrambled like mad to figure out what to do with this guy. She was handed to us in a small cat carrier along with a HUGE bag of feed. This is how one of the worst days I've ever had ended. We were told she is a cochin chicken, 6 weeks old. I'm an animal lover so I was really stuck. We have rigged an 8-sided outdoor pen against our retainer wall so she would have more room. We pushed through 3 broom handles and notched them so they wouldn't turn. She has a plastic rectangular plant drainer to sit on and her food and water. It's about 10' by 6' and 5' high with chicken wire over the top. We also have a huge dog kennel which we equipped with food, water, cardboard bottom, and 2 notched perches (more old broom sticks) which we put her in at night (in our family room, no less) and then cover her with a blanket. And so began a family daily ritual around this crazy bird. I'm doing my best to bond with her. I read these types are "lap birds" but don't tell that to this chicken. She a Head and Shoulders girl if ever (at least at first). I tried to hand feed her. I was snubbed. I have spent more time than I can count sitting in that outdoor pen with her talking, petting her, trying to get her to acknowledge me... only to find out she's a snob. She screams like I'm about to kill her when I pick her up but LOVES when I get her nestled in my arms so we can walk around and look at everything in the yard. She loves when I get my fingers under her feathers to massage her. To my surprise she also likes baths. Well, it's more like a dip in a pyrex bowl with tepid water since she has a talent to step right into her gunk. She gets real calm, and closes her eyes while I let water run down her feathers. What I'm trying to say here is I'm probably doing everything wrong. We don't have money for a fancy chicken coop and even if we did, we would still bring her in at night what with scorpions and tarantula hawks running around (we live in a southern California desert community). I don't want her to overtake my whole existence, so I'm trying to find a good balance. Any info, advice, words of wisdom... ANYTHING would be appreciated. Thank you all. PS: I have 2 very jealous cats who she loves to torture. Welcome to my world.