When I moved back to Texas on my family's land my dad and I discussed having chickens. My nephews had previously raised a couple of pigs and had an old stye on the land. It was open on one side and built on heavy treated wood. Dad had to move the thing with his John Deere tractor. My soon to be husband designed a frame with chicken wire and a door made out of an old shutter bifold door. It drops down so the girls can walk up. We positioned the coop outside our backyard and built a small pen out of more chicken wire.
I currently have poultry netting over it to protect the girls from owls, crows.
We also put it up on a couple of blocks to give them room to go under the house in the rain or heat of the day. The day after I purchased the 12 chicks I went back to get more supplies and two more little chicks just called to me and said "Take me home!!" These two little girls became two of our favorites. It took my dad and my husband over a week to realize that there were now 14 and not a dozen girls. My husband kept saying, "What are we going to do with all those chickens?" My goal was to have fresh eggs for us our family and friends as well as to sell them at the local Farmer's Market.
The girls are now almost 18 weeks and all lived and are healthy and happy.
They all have names and don't look like they did when we first bought them.
I've had to get what I call chicken bling (pony tail bands) to mark then to tell them apart. There are about 7 different breeds.
When I applied to the local farmer's market the lady came out and was very surprised to see how clean, healthy and happy my girls were and how tame.
I love having chickens, they add so much joy to my life and I have also started collecting their feathers and making things like earrings, cat toys, dream catchers and pendents you can wear on shoes and in your hair. I even made a barter deal with a couple of people to exchange feathers for jewelry findings and produce.
I know they are not really pets but they are to me and I know that one day we will have to cull them, but now they add so much to my life and I learn something new everyday because of them.