Hello! I'm an almost-forty housewife with four school-aged offspring. I live in town, but I've wanted to try raising chickens for eggs for several years. Recently learned that it wasn't against city codes to keep some chickens for eggs and/or meat. Got the go-ahead from the hubby. Looks like it might actually happen. I've been browsing and lurking and feel I've already learned a lot from BYC's great members. There is soooo much information that I'm having trouble sorting through it all so I thought I'd start asking questions. First, some background. I live in a mid-sized, rust belt town in a mostly blue collar and retirees neighborhood. My house sits on two city lots, but I have *no* backyard. Everything is out in the front for God and everybody to see, so my set-up has to look a bit decorative so the neighbors don't get hostile. I want to start with 3-4 chickens and live in USDA hardiness zone 5 (-10 to -15 degrees is the average annual low temp). My starting point coop is a dog house my neighbor gave me. His son made it in shop class decades ago and it is super sturdy. It is 5.75 ft wide, 3.33 ft deep, and 3 ft tall at the lowest point (it has a salt box roof). Here's a pic. TLC is obviously needed, but I think I can do it. I am going to put it next to my garden and build a sturdy run for it. I'm thinking 5x8-10 ft. Dogs, cats, and raccoons are probably going to be my biggest predator risks. Humans are also a possible problem. Now some questions: Does my climate require a cold hardy breed? For my coop, I know I will need to put a lockable door on to make it secure. I was thinking of using the large opening as an access door and cutting a smaller opening kind of high up for the chickens to come in and out of. I know it will need a ramp, but how big should the hole be and will it need a door, too? Would it be bad if the chicken opening faced north? I know I need ten square feet of run room per bird, but how tall does the run need to be for non-bantams? Thank you for any suggestions!