Well we're new to raising chickens and have decided to get 4 chicks. It's looking like we're getting 2 Buckeyes and 2 Rhode Island Reds. We also live in Western New York and can get some decent snow accumulations. Going by the 4sq ft thought and the possibility of going to 6 birds next year we're thinking of a coop that 6'x4'. Our thought is to build it about 2-3' off the ground so the birds will have some shade in the summer and snow protection in the winter when they're outside. We're thinking of 3 boxes inside so if we go to 6 we have the room. Not sure if we'll put a window in it or just a hole in the side covered with chicken wire with a piece of plywood to cover it in the cooler temps. If we put a window in it and keep it south facing it'll help to keep it warm in winter but will the sunlight effect the chicks egg production? I assume as long as it not directly across from the nesting boxes it alright. I'd like to make the run quit large to allow them all the room they'd like to eat and wander. My only concern is my raised beds are about 20 ft from where the coop's going. It would still give them about a 20x20 area if I stay away from my beds. That area I wouldn't think wouldn't be large enough to feed them? I'll still have to give them corn etc. I'm hoping to keep their diet mainly what they'll forage. As for the run design we're thinking of 72" 2x4 welded wire with chicken wire twisted to it to keep them in and predators out. If not then hardware cloth on the bottom half and chicken wire on the top. How does putting a roof on it work with heavy snow falls? I don't want it to accumulate on top and rip the fence down. I'm sure I'll have a ton more questions as we go but thanx for the help in advance.