Hello all, I am Chris and girlfriend , Cecelia. i had to put her on this thread as she is the main reason, actually the sole reason i am here.... So the story goes as : Moved into a very rural area at the end of November and found out the enternal quest for chickens that my GF had. And as we all know if the HEN isnt happy then NOBDDY is happy. so in short by mid-February we are taking this chicken thing pretty seriously. and by early March we have my new garage filled with this little creatures taking up all her time. but to avail i have my garage back now and that have moved into the shed outback that has been converted into a coop, a mighty nice coop, if i dont say so myself. building the coop was fun, but now the practical part of security is a problem. we have lost a duck "Ripple" and a chicken "Booster the Rooster" to a possum and a coon. we can consider that case "Closed" as they each have been dealt with PROPERLY. and so we venture into making this little flock a feline and varmit free fowl friendly farm. We live about an hour outside the STL the closest town we live by is Defiance, just to give out a bit of "where-a-bouts" Many of our neighbors are farmers or retired folk, so self-sufficiency is a common thread out here. back to the point at hand. our coop is a pretty good size and has a nice size run (19' by 32'). soon to be added is an enclosure to the top of the run as the pesky rodents love our lil chickens. i have never built anything like this before, i thought it to be a bit more thrown together than what it has turned out to be. i find myself taking a good amount of pride in this new coop i have created. thanks again for the hints and help so far. i plan on using this site and forum for a great amount of learning and hopefully when i shed my molt i can help others seeking a similar path in which we have chosen.