While we've done a lot of talking about keeping chickens over the past few years, my husband and I have only just now decided on a "less talk, more action" approach. We've been eagerly devouring just about every bit of info we can find regarding care for small flocks (we're planning on 4-6 chickens). Someone a lot more wood-crafty than either of us is building a coop for us. In the mean time, we are building an enclosed run with the goal of giving our chickens a safe place to roam without going too overboard or spending too much. We are planning to keep the chickens under the porch (which is on the second story), using the first four porch support columns and the house as the perimeter; total area is 100 square feet. We have already installed 2x4-inch welded wire fencing between the columns and the the house from the bottom of the porch to 8-13 inches below grade. We will be lining the inside of that fence with hardware cloth to at least 4 feet above ground level. We will be framing out a door with 2x4s and installing the coop on one end of the run. We are planning to incorporate the back-end of the coop into the perimeter itself, adjacent to the door, which would allow access to the nesting boxes from the outside (without having to enter the run itself). The nesting boxes will have locks, as will the run door, and there will be buried fencing beneath the coop the same as the rest of the perimeter. The porch itself will serve as the roof of the run. That area gets direct sunlight all morning/early afternoon, and by the heat of mid/late afternoon in the summer receives dappled to full shade. It's sheltered from the wind and remains very dry all year round. We also have security cameras that cover a majority of the property and would observe the approach of anyone/thing heading for the chickens, though not the coop/run itself in their current configuration. Having lived there for five years now, we know from observation that we have opossum, skunks, raccoons, fox, roaming domestic cats and dogs, snakes, hawks, owls, and the very occasionally a black bear. While we haven't seen any, others in our subdivision have reported bobcats, too. Does it seem like it'd be secure against the chicken-hungry beasties in the area? Obviously, nothing is 100%, but is there something simple we're overlooking anywhere? Would it be significantly better if we enclosed the coop entirely within the run rather than incorporating it into the perimeter? Any feedback would be welcome.