Greetings! After a year of gentle prodding, I finally convinced my husband that keeping some chickens would be a sensible idea... And then I got my neighbors on board... They are actually very excited. Originally I was planning on 3 - 4 just for my husband and I, but then thought, well, should probably get a couple more to ensure the neighbors stay cool... and... just in case one turns up a cockerel. You know... basic chicken math. So I did my research, I decided what breeds I wanted and how many I'd need of each etc... It was originally going to be 2 Australorps, 2 EEs and 2 SLWs. We went in to some feed stores to start pricing all of the start up accoutrements and then you know... discovered that one of the feed stores was expecting 2 of our 3 preferred breeds... and my husband saw just how inexpensive the maintenance stuff was... I was already designing a coop, so... it isn't like it wasn't a done deal. But naturally when we went to go get our chicks... we came home with a couple extra. The feed store where we got them from had gotten 25 Easter Eggers, 15 were reserved for one guy, another 6 for another lady, which left 4. With the Australorps out of the equation... We planned for 3 EEs, and 3 SLWs... but they insisted we take the 4th so she wasn't in her little brooder all by herself... and to my surprise, that's when my husband begged for a brown leghorn... so 8 it was. So this was the original 3/4 bird design: Which was supposed to fit in our space like this (mocked up in photoshop) But... we ended up with 8 birds, so I just expanded the design to accommodate 3.75 feet per square bird. It cam out to something like 5.5' feet by 6'. Then some contractors came knocking on my door to let me know that my friendly gas company was intending to dig up a lot of my back yard next year... which according to my design would demolish the coop and about a quarter of the run... DANG! Sure they promised to repair, rebuild, replace everything they tear up... but the less I have to deal with that the better. So... not to be discouraged, we just decided to flip the design and make them rebuild the Run... It is after all the most expendable, and most expensive part of our design... and shoot... with a backhoe, I am sure they can drop a healthy predator proof skirt all around where it needs to go. Last week my husband and I spent Memorial Day putting together the frames for our coop. We salvaged as many 2x4s from our basement remodel as we could and spent in the nature of 100 on new wood. Mostly 4X4 posts, new plywood and a few more 2X4s. We even had some leftover shingles and materials the contractors left behind in 2002 when we had our house re-roofed on hand. Then he had to go out of town on business. And this is what we accomplished this weekend! Friday evening: Saturday: And today (Sunday): Alas, Hubby is leaving town on business again... at 4 in the morning... so... Next weekend we will finish the coop. Cutting out the windows and doors, framing up the cleaning access door... etc... And then we'll get cracking' on the run.