Hi All, If anyone who has experience with the following situation, I would appreciate your thoughts. I live in an urban setting where my neighbors are very close, i.e. houses are about 15-20 apart. Though chickens are not allowed, our county does not inforce this law unless a neighbor complains of noise or smell. I want to get 3 chickens but unfortunatley there will be days they will need to be cooped up most of the day. They will definitely need to stay in until after they are done with their egg song, I hope the girls lay mostly in the morning. I plan to let them roam the backyard for at least 2-4 hours per day- worst case scenario. More often they will be out all day. Though, there might be times when we are gone for the weekend and then they would have to stay cooped up for 2 days, but this would not happen very often. Thia is what I am concerned about. I plan to use our daughters deluxe playhouse as a coop as she dosen't play in it any longer. The playhouse has internal demensions of 7'3 x 7'3 and tall enough for me to walk inside- I am 5'7. It is insulated, 4x4 constructed with dry wall and siding. It has a 'living roof' ( 6 inches of dirt on top )where we plant flowers. There is a door with a screened glass window, as well as a 34"x34" sliding glass window with screen as well, in addtion it has electricity and AC. I plan to partition off the corner at an angle to accomodate the door that swings in as well to provide space to put my air purifier. With the the partioned part I still have just over 40 sf of space on the floor. Nest box will be off the ground to allow the chickens maximum floor space. I plan to bed with shavings that I spot clean every couple of days. I plan to hang a couple of treat balls stuffed with cabbage to keep them occupied. I also just planted wheat grass seeds in 3 plastic 'under bed storage containers' that I plan to rotate. These tubs will provide the hens with fresh grass in their coop even if it is only lasts a couple of hours, this is my attempt to enrich the girls quaility of life while cooped up. I also will have a special light bulb that replicates natural light- UVB and UVA rays (these can be found in the reptile section of a pet store). Because of the fact this house it right up against the fence and our house it has excellent insulation. It always at least 10-15 degrees cooler than the outside temp. If it gets too hot I will turn on AC on and set the temp just enough to keep them comfortable. By the way- my Barnevelder and Sussex chicks just hatched and it is 3 girls from this group who will live in the playhouse. I choose these breeds because I was told they are very docile and run a little on the lazy side too. Should the girls be discovered or are obviously too unhappy with these conditions and I have to find new homes- I have more than 3 people, including my sister, who are happy to take them and are aware that they are my back up home. So do you think 40 sf is enough for 3 hens to live in, on occasion, for 20 hours of the day or if I can't let them out that day at all? I want them to be happy enough. These chickens will be treated as pets, but, they are also indended to give me eggs. Definitely beasts of burden.