We've thrown around the idea of keeping Chickens now for a few years, but have always been concerned about the heat here in Arizona. So with some ideas in mind for ventilation fans and building the coop in a well shaded part of our large 75ft x 50ft back yard, we've finally decided to start building a coop. I'm going to be looking at all of the plans and photos here from other DIY builders and using 2x4 Construction, along with whatever siding materials I can get cheaply. Then painting the exterior white to reflect a much sun as possible, and researching good roofing materials to keep it cool. We plan on keeping chickens for the eggs rather than meat, not that I am opposed to slaughtering if needed - but that would definitely be something new for me. We have plenty of friends and family nearby to supply with eggs if the production from 3 or 4 birds is more than we can keep up with, we will be using the forums here to also research heat hardy breeds that are good layers. We have 2 young girls - aged 9 and 2 and hopefully we can teach them to help look after the chickens and help with cleaning and egg collection. I think it will be very rewarding for the family. Some of my first memories as a child in the UK was running around inside my grandmothers huge chicken coop and collecting the eggs, plus being chased by the rooster - so hopefully our children will also have these memories of keeping our own chooks.