Proving once again that the internet has a forum out there for everything under the sun, I found this place. Just wanted to say hi. I have a LOT of reading to do and there is an unbelievable amount of information here on such a specific topic but I guess there is much to know. I've been living in a small city with absolutely no yard for the past 4 years but some time between now and spring I'll be moving back to my old lot (which I just salvaged from the tax sale with a few weeks to spare) and I've been trying to convince my wife to get some small farm animals. She wasn't too keen on goats or pigs, but she agreed that chickens would be fine, after all hey fresh eggs, right? Now I realize that 3 acres is never going to be a full fledged farm, but it seems to me that ought to be plenty to raise a half dozen, maybe a dozen chickens or so. My major concern is going to be predators, the lot is at the far end of a small town along a dirt road surrounded by forest. Raccoons and to a lesser extent skunks are widespread. There are also a lot of feral cats in town, I'm not sure if those things go after chickens or not. I know very little about chickens but I'm going to do some research, but it seems to me I'll need a coup and most definitely a fenced in area for them, as to let them run wild would expose them to way too many potential predators. Does this sound about right? Also what I always wondered was whether chicken coups are heated or not? Can these birds survive say a western Pennsylvania winter with an unheated shelter? So many questions, I guess I have a lot of reading to do. Just wanted to say hi.