I am planning a new garden shed in my suburban backyard, with part of it dedicated to my chicks that are currently almost 2 weeks old. There will be (I hope) 3 Polish and 1 RIR, or if one of the Polish is a boy, 2 Polish and 2 RIR with the cockerel traded for a RIR. We are allowed a maximum 8 x 12 shed without needing a building permit in my city. The plan is to tear down our old sheds and build a new one with one end being for the chickens. The shed will be 12 feet long, and 8 feet deep. The right end will be divided inside with doors for the soon to be pullets to go outside into a pen screened in and disguised by trellis and grave vines. My question is how much inside space do I need? In the dead of winter, they may need to stay in for days on end. It is possible for me to roof the pen. Is that better than an open wire top? If I make the chicken pen part 3 feet by 8 feet will that be enough with an external nest box on the front wall? The outside pen will be about 4 feet by 8 feet deep. When we are home and the neighbors are away we plan to let them free in the yard, but this will jut be on the weekends. Is this too much chicken for the space? I want to do deep litter. Should I just get 3 girls? The 4th I haven't committed to yet, but the 3 Polish are for sure mine. I don't want them crowded. It is better to make the pen more square inside? Thanks for any advice.