Funny thing about Raccoons here in France. There used to not be any until WWII, when GIs came over here with Raccoons as unit mascots. Unfortunately they would escape, and now while they're not everywhere (you still have to go to a Zoo to see them usually) you can find them. The population is growing fairly rapidly from what I hear... maybe soon I'll be the first to bring that great Arkansas tradition of coon huntin' to La France.
tschmidlin, for coops and those fenced-in things that let you control where they peck and scratch, there's this: http://www.omlet.co.uk/homepage/
I think I'm going to order my coop from them. Plastic coop, which means all you have to do is borrow somebody's pressure washer every now and then to get them all clean.
A friend of mine has two chickens, which his kids named "Stupid" and "Stupid," which pretty much sums them up, but they get fresh eggs most of the time and given how much a guy can pay for "free-range" these days it seems silly not to do it myself. Let me know how it works out for you, maybe we can keep this thread open with photos etc once it gets going.