What a great website! I've learned tons. Thanks. We moved out into the country a couple years ago and pals from church have been telling us our purpose in life will only be fulfilled once we own chickens. So here we go. We have put our order (splitting a box of 25 from Murray w/ the church pals) for 7 chicks (one per family member) and now we wait. 2 rhode island reds, one pearl-white leghorn, one rose comb brown leghorn, 2 black stars, and one araucana. Clearly, we want eggs. If we are going to put up with chicken poop and perpetual clucking we want some payback. No plan to sell eggs, but I'm sure you've heard that before. Stage one -- We have a rabbit hutch we will modify to keep the chicks for the first 60 days. You call this a brooder? So far our outlay has been $2.81 for a heat lamp bulb. The hutch was free. We got a white bulb instead of the more expensive red one. Does that matter? Stage two -- Move the chicks into the coop. We're still stewing about a coop, but I suppose we have 60 days. Plan A modify a large outdoor toybox (8X3), Plan B move and modify a (12X8) barn from our rental unit to the property, Plan C build a coop out of pallets or scavenged stuff (can you tell we are tightwads?). Plan A means this is all just a low investment trial. Plan B means we can have 30 chickens and Plan C means I have alot of work to do but we have a stylish made-to-order coop. We have LOTS of predators (peragrin falcons, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, etc.) and no dog so we'll need a good coop and run. I hear you folks saying cattle wire? and welded wire? Now the chicken wire they sell around here is not welded, but it's twisted. I'm guessing that's not enough, but the holes in the welded wire seem so big. Hmmmmmm. Stage #3 Invent clever and crafty ways to brainwash the bambinos into thinking that they enjoy cleaning the coop. Strategies welcome. Stage #4 -- Eat a fried egg sandwich with a slice of muenster, smoked ham, and dijon mustard. Or maybe just two nicely poached on 7 grain whole wheat toast. Actually, a Grecian omelette (spinach and fetta) w/ home fries... Anyway, looking forward to the adventure.