So my chickies have been free ranging it in the yard for about a year now, and my yard has turned from lush green grass to mostly dirt. And holes. And poop. I love my chickens, but my kids also don't want to play in the yard anymore. So, I am building a run, to be mostly permanent for them. I am playing with sizes and designs and would like any advice in cost, pros, cons, easiness to build...or anything really! Keep in mind that the chickens- I have five, but would like to have 7- already have a coop that is 24 square feet on top plus 3 nesting boxes 12" x 12" and 24 square feet on bottom (where the food and water is). Here is a pic of that- this run would go on our land on the other side of the privacy fence. My first design is one I had as a kid- a hoop coop. 50" by 16' cattle panels in an upside U shape covered with hardware cloth and framed with 4x4's around the outside. Both ends are framed as well. Easy to build; not easy to cover in the winter. I could wrap the top in a heavy duty tarp or something, but what about the ends??? My next design involved the cattle panels as well, but in more of a quarter circle with the top attached to the fence. Again, not sure how to cover in the winter. I think this design would make it more stable- it would be attached to the fence which is concreted into the ground. But I think the framing would be more difficult. The third one is just a square coop- but the roof would be sloping from the 6' of the fence to the 50" of the cattle panels. That should be enough with metal roofing to get rid of snow. This would be the most expensive, but also give them the most room. It would also be easy to cover in the winter (wrapping it) since it would already be roofed. But it would be the most expensive!