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Love my chickies!I would recommend researching the predators in your area, as well as breeds of chickens that are best suited to where you live. We love having chickens and allow them free-range. However, if you are particular about your patio furniture, or anything for that matter, you need to know that they will perch wherever they can. We do close them up in a coop at night so they do have a safe place to go, but we do have a significant problem with black snakes in warmer weather. Also, our chickens seem to delight in hiding their eggs, so if you do free-range you will probably spend a lot of time looking for nests of eggs and/or chickens hiding and setting eggs to hatch. That being said, I would not trade our chickies for store-bought eggs, nor for the entertainment they provide with their antics. They are also very helpful in the compost pile by turning it over looking for food. Thanks for the blog, I look forward to additional entries.