Hello everyone, So I am in southwestern Nova Scotia, and just getting started on establishing my homestead. By some good fortune I have come across a near infinite source of scrap lumber and old barnboards. Chickens are the first step! We want eggs! Free materials and a big empty field, so size is not a constraint. For weeks now I have been thinking about my chicken coop... thinking so much that I felt paralyzed by inability to commit. How would I be able to build a coop that would not detract from this idyllic view? How to build a coop that would meet all my chickens' needs while still being elegant and aesthetically complementing the old barn? Well, a couple of days ago I was milling these questions as I began to clean and organise the interior of the barn. As I started getting my lumber piles under control and assembling the stall walls it came to me: this barn is huge. Why am I thinking to build a new structure when I have all this space already under a dry roof? Let me give you a quick tour. I am standing in the middle of the barn, looking to the southwest corner (to your right as you enter the front door). The workbench and tool area take up two (of six) stalls. This is from the same position, looking to the northwest (to your left as you enter the front door). This stall is storage for now, but is reserved for a milk cow some day when we feel more confident about this whole "taking care of animals" concept. There used to be a horse here named "Kay", based on the sign . Rotating some more, now we are looking at the northeast corner (back and to the left as you enter). The rear barn door is visible, it is exactly like the front door. You can see the rolling doors for stalls, available but uninstalled, in the centre. They are identical to the door in "Kay's stall" in the previous picture. The middle stall / area (where the black trunk is sitting in this picture) might end up being for goats, or they could live in the NE stall. The SE stall, just visible on the right here, is where I am thinking to put chickens. So here is a clear shot of the potential coop area. I am standing at the rear door, looking into the SE stall. Each of the stalls in this barn are roughly 7' X 9'. So walled in, this designated coop area would be 63 sq.ft. Hmmm... I was initially imagining something like 40 birds, and the Internet is telling me that each one needs 4 sqft. Even though it seems totally huge to me, calculations tell me this isn't enough space. Maybe I need both back stalls for chickens? But I wouldn't want to block the back door, so maybe two separated chicken areas? I could have space for brooders to nest, or keep roosters segregated, etc. The plan is for them to be completely free range. They will be pretty far from the road, and there is lots of land for them to roam safely as you can see in the first photos. There are mink around here! So whatever I do, I need to make it mink proof and I've only begun to consider what that will entail... Please guys - I would love advice, comments, warnings, things to consider... before I get too far down a wrong path. And just FYI the exterior photos are much earlier, we currently have close to a foot of snow here.