Hi, I'm Nick Chill. I'm a photographer by profession. My wife and I are progressively moving to a more sustainable way of living, which most recently includes backyard chickens for eggs and compost purposes.
We just acquired two pullets, a black sex link and a silkie, and we have two red sex links on the way (we let the kids pick their own chickens, plus one). I am feverishly researching coops and hen houses to figure out what I want to do. I have a location picked out that is shaded in summer and sunny in winter. We live in Northeast Iowa, and it can get to -20 degrees (at coldest) and averages about 0 during the cold months. I don't have a ton of property, so I need a modest coop, but I want the hens to be comfortable, safe, and healthy.
I can clearly see that the coops available online are pretty cheap and overstate the number of hens they can hold. They also appear to be horrible for colder weather. I'm getting the feeling I need to build my own. I'm comfortable building things, but have never built anything house-like.
I welcome any and ALL recommendations, resources, and advice on coops, runs, and accessories (i.e. dusting box) for my hens. I'm still researching and getting a lot of information, but the more points-of-view, the easier I can narrow down what's important.