Hi, I received 4 chicks and a large used cage as a birthday present from my son on July 25th. At first I thought this was an odd gift as I have never expressed much interest in chickens, however I set about the task of integrating them into my life.The cage is on legs and has a wire bottom it has a ramp style door and a hinged roof. I think it will do temporarily. I lost a chick to a predator the first night, Something got a hold of a chicks leg through the wire bottom, I saw that the used cage had once had a tray to clean up droppings that was missing if it had been in place I wouldn't have lost that chick. I cut a piece of plywood to replace the tray and I put cardboard on the bottom until I can implement a more permanent solution I think this will be better for their feet too. I put a two foot tall fence around the cage to give them a "run". My little dog Toto (who is a cairn terrier just like the dog on the wizard of Oz) promptly showed me that the fence wasn't tall enough so I made it four feet tall, With that done I went to the feed store to replace the chick and came home with two chicks since it was the last chance to get chicks from that hatching bringing the size of my flock up to five. A week or so later two more chicks disappeared but I had left the door to the cage open and there no sign of what had happened. A few days later I was awakened at four am by Toto barking incessantly near the chicks it wasn't her normal bark and I got up to see what was going on when I got outside Toto was at the pen barking as soon as she saw me she bolted through the fence and chased a possum under the cage I moved the cage just a bit and Toto charged under grabbing the possum by the neck and shaking it violently she snapped it's neck expertly as if this was something she does routinely I took the Possum from her and disposed of it. I gave Toto a treat and went back to bed. Since then I have bought four more chicks from a later hatching and have lost 4 chicks that have disappeared without a trace. I'm not sure if it is a predator or if they are getting out somehow. I haven't found any evidence of a predator but I have discovered and repaired faults in my fence job. I am now considering building a "tractor"' with a loft and proper nest boxes, That brings us up to last week in my chicken saga. Last Tuesday when I got home from work ( I am working as a cook at at popular local restaurant) I checked Craigslist/free ads as is my habit and saw that someone was giving away four Rhode Island Red chickens and the ad had only been posted for twenty minutes. I thought this would be a great way to accelerate my chicken hobby to a point where I can collect some eggs so I immediately called the person and told them I was on the way to get them When I got there thirty minutes later the man told me he had already received at least ten calls or e-mails from people that wanted them, but I was first in line. How lucky is that? I brought the reds home in shipping container the man also gave me some feed,shell, a water holder and a home made feeder. My friend Chelsie helped me remove a large aviary cage from my pigeon loft (14 white rock doves for wedding releases) and we took it to my "chicken area" we put it on its side to have more floor space it is about 10 ft wide X 20 ft long X 4 ft tall. I shoveled in dirt from my worm pit where I compost leaves this will keep them off the wire bottom and provide a worm filled scratch for them I attached the feeder in a corner so it wont get knocked over and put in the water holder in and left the shipping container in because they seem to like sitting on it. I also put a tarp covering about half of the cage so they have some shelter. This morning one of the reds left me an egg and I ate what was likely the freshest egg I have ever had. it was great. I guess I'd have to say this hobby is one of the best presents iv'e ever gotten. My son is a pretty great guy.