I am looking for help from my BYC friends. I'm planning my next coop and am considering an aviary or hoop design that I can walk in. I'll give you my background if you're interested in chicken stories. Otherise, my plans are at the bottom of the post. 8} My short story goes: I recently relocated from Gainesville, FL to South East, FL. Sadly, I was unable to bring my chickens with me. We were in a rental situation with plans to bring them once we were settled and I'd had a chance to arrange the rental yard for chooks. Our lease even had "four chickens" written into it! Finding a chicken "friendly" rental was much harder than we expected for the area we were looking. However, once we moved in, we quickly found that the neighborhood was overrun by racoons. They marauded yards night and during the daylight hours looking for garbage. So our lovely hens stayed up in North FL with good friends because I had no interest in barricading the rental yard and I knew my hens where accustomed to the free-range lifestyle and wouldn't be happy penned up. I get updates on how they are doing and have visited them twice. They are very content and even have a man that they didn't have when they lived with me within city limits (no roosters). One year later, I'm in my first house and have a tentative goal to be ready for chickens by the end of the summer. That's a whole set of decisions and plans I've yet to decide on as far as breeds and breeders. I've been planning my next coop causally for the last year to give me something chickeny in my life and still don't know exactly what I want. I was thinking some of the lovely and savvy BYC folks could help me continue to formulate my plan. If you've read this far.... Well, you love chickens too! My first coop was an old coop we relocated from my grandparent's coop to my parent's backyard when I was in elementary school and begging for chickens. My father built a run attached to the coop for our hens and we often let them out in the backyard during afternoons. I took a hiatus from chicken keeping during college 2003, grad school, and work-life but started back in 2011. I'm pictured below standing in the run with one of my Easter Eggers. I designed and built my second coop with the help of a good friend and based it off of many of the things I liked about the Dutch Hen House on this BYC page. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/sunnychickens-dutch-hen-house-chicken-coop My coop is pictured here with cardboard for extra instillation and protection from windchill on a winter Gainesville night! Normally the front of the enclosed part of the coop is open air with hardware cloth. This coop also stayed behind in North, FL. I love the traditional wooden coops but am leaning toward a hoop house or even more of an aviary style. I have a friend that keeps chickens in a lovely hoop house and like the portability, that you can walk into it, and that it's so easy to clean. We just bought our house and moved in so I'm not interested in building any type of permanent structure in the yard. Tonight I found instructions on how to make your own aviary on this website: http://www.instructables.com/id/Walk-in-Bird-Aviary/ This page is complete with a story about how he got started with birds in the first place and it's touching. The instructions are great and it's designed using panels that you bolt together so it's definitely moveable. I could then put a small nesting & roosting area inside the aviary that's protected from the elements and I'd also put some plants and things to make it cozy! It wouldn't need to be 8 feet tall though but that might make it easier to build since it fits with the cuts of wood..... We seem to be in a relatively predator free area but I'd still plan on putting a wire skirt around the bottom just in case and using hardware cloth of course. I would have to put a roof over it for rain so the run wouldn't turn to mush and have to consider hurricanes as a factors. I'm planning for this space to be large enough for them to spend most of the day and I'd let them into a larger chicken yard in the afternoons and on weekends when I'm home. Throwing this out there for anyone who loves to comment on coop design. Pros and cons, etc. I want to build some sort of aviary or hoop house. It will be for a few chickens (3-4) with room to add a few more. Thanks!