Hi, we live in Milwaukee, WI --planning to move to the country (back to the country in my case) in the next couple or few years, but I couldn't wait so when our town (Wauwatosa) passed the chicken law, I wanted chickens! We have a tiny backyard, but enough for 3-4 backyard chickens and we have a large vegetable garden that we hope they can help dig out and turn over when they are mature. We plan to have a coop/small run area in a permanent location and build a 'large chicken tractor" run for moving around the yard every day. This will "dock" to their permanent location at night, days when we are gone and in Winter. I have decided, after lots of research, to get Easter Eggers (Americaunas) due to their cold hardiness, XL (and pretty) eggs and their docile and friendly temperament. I have worked with animals my entire life (see a small bio of me here: www.petpawrade.com) and I've worked with pet birds and have owned a Quaker parrot for over 10 years now, but it's my first time actually owning my own farm animals. I've taken care of other people's, but never had to figure out how to build, bed, feed, etc. on my own. My husband is a "city slicker" who wants to be a farmer and he's learning. He's also extremely handy and can build/fix almost anything, but he doesn't want to build a coop from scratch if he can at all avoid it. He is self-employed and already overworked due to keeping his own business running on a budget--by doing everything himself. So we are looking at "pre-fab" coops that he might have to customize a bit, but they are all so small! Wauwatosa requires us to have 16 square feet of space per chicken (combined outdoor and indoor space) and most of the pre-fab coops are about 20-30 sq. feet total. Of course, we are building an additional "run", but we were hoping that wouldn't have to be so huge. Oh well. Any suggestion on pre-fab coops would be appreciated. We have looked extensively and like the "Pawhut" designs in the larger sizes--the $450-$500 ones. We were hoping to start with something more price economical, but the ones in the $200 range are too small and there is not much in-between. I have a couple questions I'm hoping some of you can help with. 1. Can I use the Deep Litter Method for the runs, or just in the coops? The place we are putting the coop/run is almost entirely bare earth--won't even grow grass because it's next to the garage and under a maple tree). So we don't want "muddy" chickens and I've heard wood chips aren't great. Of course not because those we get free from the city. LOL 2. I plan on growing my own fodder--probably barley fodder or maybe a mix, to feed them and only supplementing with grain as a "forage" activity for them. Does anyone else do this? I have known people who feed only fodder or other fresh greens/veggies to their chickens and the chickens were/are robust, healthy and their poop doesn't stink at all. 3. In WI, we apparently have a law that says baby chicks have to be sold in groups of 5 or more. This is interesting, since no municipality allows more than 4 chix per household in the city limits. Not sure how we'll get around that. there are some petting zoos around and I'm thinking we'll either get a couple extra chicks and donate them, or even see if the petting zoo can sell us 4 chicks. Thanks, and we look forward to our continuing education on chicken keeping!