Jb and I were originally going to start out with meat chickens for our first foray into the poultry world. However, after talking to my brother and a couple of friends who raise chickens, we decided to start with layers instead. We were told that starting out with cornish X could very possibly turn us away from chickens all together because of the extreme differences between meat and egg chickens. So, here we are looking for advice on egg layers. Here is what we have set aside for the area: The image shows the coop as only 10 feet long...it's actually 8x12. I just moved the coop from the other side of the property to where we want the chickens. The "coop" is an old 8x12 storage shed. It needs a lot of work before it will be ready for chickens. I have a number of 8' trusses that I'm going to use to make a covered run. So for now, our questions are: 1. Should the coop be elevated? I see that many are. 2. How many chickens could we raise comfortably? They cannot free range. We also want to avoid overcrowding. 3. What is the best fence material? I was planning on using 6 foot 14 gauge wire welded fence with a 2"x4" mesh. 4. The covered run will be seperated from the open run by the same welded wire fencing with a door to allow access between the two. This is because the open run will only have a chicken wire roof to keep hawks out. At night we will lock the birds up in the coop. We also want to be able to hang a tarp between the runs so in the winter time the chickens can still go outside and have a bit of a wind break. Is this going over the top? We are going to post pics of our progress as we get going. Thanks folks!