We've got some little chicks that will be moving out of the brooder in a couple more weeks and have been deliberating what to do for a coop and run for them. Because we feel our backs are against the wall time-wise, we're wondering about getting something like this little coop, but are concerned that it'll end up being way too tight for three average-to-large sized hens. We were looking at building a variation of The Garden Ark, but think it might be too heavy to move around easily. Also, we like the idea of having a nesting box off the side of the hen house and we're pretty sure we want a lined drawer tray for cleaning, but don't know how big a deal it really is. The other thought we have is making a lightweight run out of pvc pipe that could attach to the hen house, but be easy to move around the yard. If we had something like that, it might not be so important to move the hen house frequently. Will we be happiest building our own, or are these little ready-to-assemble coops really not all that bad? Any advice or suggestions? Thanks! ======================================= Edited with additional information and other options: We live in a suburban city just east of Seattle on a 7600 square ft lot and the current rules limit us to 4 hens. We recently had our fist batch of chicks from eggs given us from some rural friends - 4 of them made it to the brooder. Since we started our first incubation with a lightbulb in a cardboard box and then switched over to a HovaBator on day 16, we decided to run another small batch of 5 eggs with the lessons we learned. We're on day 15 with these new eggs and they've all got a little chick moving around in them. big_smile We don't anticipate keeping more than 3 hens, but it may be tempting to modify that in the future. The climate here is pretty moderate all year round, but seems to have varied from that tendency last couple years. We thought we might start with something pretty small in hopes that it would be simple to upgrade to something more appropriate when the need becomes obvious. If that is the path chosen, we might possibly be able to use the outgrown "house" as a brooder??? But we also don't have a lot of extra money to throw away, either. Our back yard is fully fenced with chicken wire along the bottom 18" (for when we got our puppy a few years ago and wanted to let her run around free back there). We anticipate letting the chickens having the whole back yard to forage in for several hours a day unless they're bothered by predators. In that case, I would make a portable "run" for their protection that we could move around in the yard. So, we're envisioning the hen house being in a fixed location to accommodate them when they're not in the portable run. After all the advice to go bigger, we've found a couple coops that are larger and we believe would work better. Would you guys mind taking a look at coop models CC-28 and CC-03 near the end of http://www.cconly.com/coop__hutches/chicken_coop? The CC-28 has a 36x27 "house" with a 3-wide nesting box in the back while the CC-03 has a 28x23.5 "house" with a 2-wide nesting box on the side. Would either of these be a suitable fit for 3 (and at most 4) hens?