Before you build a coop, buy food, and purchase your first group of fuzzy little chicks, there are a few things you will need to do first. If you live within the city you need to find out whether it is even legal to keep chickens in your backyard. The first thing you need to do is contact your city office and see if there are any ordinances about raising backyard chickens.
You can get online and research your city. There may be laws telling you specifically what kind of birds you can have and how many. You may or may not be able to keep a rooster. Sometimes there is a size limit on the housing for your chickens and before you do any building, make sure you don't need a permit.
Once you are familiar with the laws and regulations in your area I suggest one more thing before purchasing your chickens. Inform your neighbors. Let your neighbors know that you are going to be raising chickens in your backyard and if there are any questions or problems you can address them right away.
Next up in Raising Backyard Chickens with Learning the Frugal Life - choosing the right breed.