I have 3 hens, and was recently given 3 chicks. I live <1 mile outside of San Diego's city limit; it's just close enough for the population density to be pretty high, but just far enough for hen ownership to be legal. This is how my 3 hens currently live (chicks live inside): Night: they are locked in a 16sqft coop (in the process of building a second coop) 6am-1pm: they are free to wander around their 80sqft run (fully chicken-wired) and the aforementioned coop 1or2pm: I get home and let them wander around the ~4500sqft (pretty big) backyard until 8or9pm (my dog protects them from the skunks, raccoons, possums, and foxes) I have always planned on keeping my flock at ~5 chickens, but lately I have been wanting more; I just love the idea of micro-farming. I love tending my flock, I love putting their waste in my compost pile, I love growing plants with my compost, and I love to eat the plants' veggies & feed the chickens the scraps. I just love all the work. I would like to have around 12 hens, but I feel like this would be kind of weird since my neighborhood is not at all rural. My 3 hens right now aren't really noisy, but I feel like 10+ would be. Considering I would build more coops, how many hens would be able to spend 7or8 hours/day in my 80sqft run? How much more work would 9 more hens require (I work ~20hrs/wk and am a full time engineering student)? I hate that I was raised in the city, but I was, so this all just naturally seems kind of impractical to me. By the way, I am 19 and live in a house with a stable (honestly) girlfriend, so parental permission or anything like that isn't a concern. So, considering my lifestyle, what do you think is a reasonable amount of hens for me to own? Thanks for any help!