Hello! I want to start a small flock to have fresh eggs and am looking for ideas for coops. I don't intend to have more than 6 hens at a time. I live on a 35 acre farm that my DH and I purchased 4 years ago. We have 5 horse; 4 goats (a nigerian dwarf/fainter buck, a purebred fainter doe, their baby a doe, and a pygmy buck; numerous dogs, and 10 cats. We bought the farm because of the horses and got the goats because I thought they were cute. The dogs and cats just show up and we feed them so they stay. I can't seem to turn a stray away and my husband is just as bad. I teach 2nd grade in Charleston, WV and I love it. I hope to get my coop built this summer during break so I might not be getting any chickens until next spring. We also hope to add pigs to our herd soon. We really want to produce as much of our own food as possible.
I am looking for suggestions for the coop. I have a sloped backyard and would like to build the coop with a run that goes uphill and tunnel that goes to my garden spot so the girls can work the ground for me in the fall after the harvest. How many next boxes do I need for 6 hens? What about square footage for the coop and run? I will have to be careful about letting them run loose because we have coyotes and birds of prey that would enjoy fresh chickens.