I am so happy I can't stand myself. My folks have been caring for my 5 cochin males at their ranch (packing peanuts from Ideal) and Mom thinks one of them is really a pullet. This adds a new dimension because previously they had all been destined for the dinner table. I told Mom that she couldn't possibly eat a Henny Penny....that she had to keep it for eggs and one of the roos for company. I further explained that the Henny Penny really would need more Henny Penny's to keep her company. Mom was not especially persuaded. You see we can't keep chickens legally in our neighborhood (I raised cornish rocks in the garage and keep it under wraps until after butchering day) and Dad said to bring the roos to him. He would finish raising them and then invite them to dinner. Mom, however, is becoming attached to the roos (and henny?) and is softening up. Dad has come to my defense and said the if I will come down there and build a coop and run that I can probably plan to go ahead and order some chicks (or find some started pullets in the Houston area). Here is the coop question. I was looking at a design for a poultry house and run combined. It is an A-frame structure that is going to be roughly 12 feet long and 7 feet wide. I figured I would use 8 foot boards for the sides of the A frame (rafters). The plan calls for an enclosed end that is 4 feet by 7 feet (28 square feet) and a run that is covered on all sides (except the house end) with chicken wire. Do you think that a run of 8x7 feet (56 square feet) is large enough to house 1 roo and 9 hens? They would be standard size birds. I really don't want to have to move this thing. How can I maintain good sanitation? They will be at the ranch and there is plenty of hay, but I got the idea that hay was not the best thing for a run. Should I plan to buy pine shavings? Can these be layered and cleaned out only once or twice a year? I had planned to order 2 buff orpingtons, 2 wellsomers or marans, 2 turkens and 2 Ameraucana (probably mutts but my son won't care if they aren't purebred--he just wants colored eggs). Will these birds and two cochins get along well? I'm afraid that the 3 roos that don't make the cut will end up as the main attraction at dinner. Will they do okay in these quarters? I am just so excited because I have wanted hens for so long and now it is within sight of becoming a reality--that is if Mom gives the final OK. You see, the care will be up to her and I will get to visit them. My kids just love going to my folks ranch and it would be SO fun for them to gather eggs and enjoy the birds when we are there. Thanks for any ideas and thoughts on this plan we've "hatched up".