Hello all. My DH and I are building our chicken coop. We are first time chicken owners. (I begged ) I have four silkies and six standard chicks. The silkies are about 6 weeks old and the standards are 3 weeks old now. We are building a coop that has ended up to be about 6 1/2 ft x 5 1/2 ft. I wanted it a little bigger but I couldnt push my luck too much. It is located in the small side yard of my house that we never made use of so DH couldnt find too much fault with it. It will be insulated because I live in NJ and we will not be able to run wiring to it. It is raised so there will be a bit of run area underneath the coop for rainy days. I am also hoping to build an attached run and cover a section of that soon. I also have a fenced yard so they will be able to free range for a bit each day. The human/cleanout door will be located on the left and you can see we have started a nest box which we are planning to split, so there will be two nest boxes with outdoor access. You will see in the next picture there is some space between the rafters and the inner wall. My DH is planning to completely close that up when he puts the outer front wall up, as he did in the back. I was thinking of leaving it open and covering it with hardware cloth for ventilation. He thinks if I do that then insulating was a waste of time. What do you all think?? This side of the coop has a chicken door and will have a nice big window cut out in the area to the left of the chicken door. The run will eventually be attached to this side of the coop. In the next picture, the long upper section under the roof I though would make a nice long window straight across the full length or maybe half of it at least. If we cut this out and cover in hardware cloth, will it suffice to just put plexiglass over it in the winter. Again here, DH says it would defeat the purpose of insulation. Ideas? Thoughts? Picture looking into chicken door. On the far side I plan to run a roost along the back. Still not sure where food and water will best fit. We have been working on this for weeks and there are things that looked good on paper that didnt work out well in reality. My DH has little patience for this but I am thrilled he is doing this for me at all. I never would have managed it on my own. This area that is currently a mess will be where the run will go eventually. It will all be cleaned out and a run will go along the fence line. And because this post isnt large enough already (<----sarcasm ) I tried to draw stuff in to help you get an idea of what I mean. Thanks! Any thoughts or ideas or criticisms welcome. Thanks for looking!