“I mean, it [the tendency I spoke about to make chicken-keeping and other acts of self-reliance more complicated than necessary] might be another symptom of the same disease that causes helicopter parenting - an overwhelming anxiety that things will go to pieces if you aren't in total control of all variables at all times.
“I'd like to recommend Storey's guide to chickens (they have a whole series on farming). These guides are down to earth and relaxed, providing information but with a general attitude that even children can successfully raise animals of all types. Storey's chicken book has plenty of plans for simple chicken houses, too.
“My chickens roost in the rafters of the barn. Most breeds of chicken will do fine with a roof, a good windbreak, clean water and ample food. They need a few square feet apiece, minimum, to stretch and scratch. Chickens will be extra happy if they can also make wallows and take dirtbaths.”
That sounds like good advice. I'll have to find Storey's book when I get a chance. And it's helpful to realize that chickens, being birds after all, are quite able to survive without human intervention. (Otherwise, there'd be none on earth today!)
On another note, posting will be light over the next week (and maybe two). I've got a ton of homework to grade and I need to catch up.