Thanks for the links, I'm still working on putting together my perfect backyard chicken solution! Of course I probably don't need to remind anyone here that Paul has written a great article about chick raising options at:http://www.richsoil.com/raising-chickens.jsp
I'm really trying to work it out so I can give them full range of my little 1/4 acre (rotationally if possible) while keeping them out of my garden and freshly made hugekultur at least some of the time. Of course they would go on clean up duty every now and then for bugs and once the growing season was over. The other consideration of course is making it all look 'acceptable' enough to prevent my neighbors from recommending my commitment to an asylum
Either way I figure I'll dive in next spring with a few chicks and try to make it work, I'm in the lucky position of being able to give the chickens a happy home at my parents if it doesn't work out.
I'd love to see any additional examples of folks who have had success with micro scale chickens- I realize its not always possible and that not everyone wants to do it this way but i'm really trying to keep my inputs to a minimum, hopefully with the right balance and plenty of polyculture it is possible to raise them on free forage with exception for the winter in my case I think.
Keep doing great things!