So, I've made what seems to be a common mistake. I have 8 chicks in a brooder, living in my basement for the last week. My husband & I had been considering getting chickens, then went to the farm store one afternoon to "look", etc, etc, etc. What's the mistake you ask? We have no coop and no plans. I've been looking at designs, but there are so many options I'm not sure where to start. I was hoping to get a little advice from the experts here. We need a mobile coop, but it needs to be sturdy enough to fend off raccoons & possums, and warm enough for west Michigan, snowy winters. The only way I'd be able to get electricity to it in winter would be with an extension cord from the outside outlets on the house. So far, I'm liking the designs that have the coop built above a portion of the run to give some shade, but I wasn't certain of size. Would a 4'x5' coop & a 4'x12' run be okay on sizes? I'm thinking barn siding on the outside & insulated with the hard foam board on the inside, but what should I cover that with to keep it from being pecked night & day? This type of coop also has me stumped on ventilation. Where do you draw the line at ventilation vs a drafty coop? The taller, A-frame coops seem perfect for venting without drafts --however, I see a down-side on them in the sense that, while they might be a little cheaper to build, getting enough square footage may give me a base that's too big to move around by myself. What's the word on windows? I've read that the girls may confine themselves to the coop in winter when the weather is unpleasant, so I'd like it to be light inside. Oh, and last, but not least: I'm hoping for a run that's big enough for the kids to visit with the chicks. We spend our days in the basement feeding the girls peas just to hear them make their happy sounds (and watch the chase as they argue over who got the better pea!). I'd be very appreciative of any advice offered. There are just so many coop designs, it's hard to figure out which one would be best in our climate.