Newbie construction questions here sorry so many. I am also sorry if these have been asked before. I am also just planning ahead for spring. A few raised beds in my garden and the chicken coop and run are my winter projects I am considering. I am thinking about 10 hens. But I am a planner and want to make sure I have all the info I need before proceeding. I hope you will share your kindness and experience with me. Thanks for all the great info you have shared already as I have read through many of the threads and wow what great ideas. But now I just have more questions. I am a new to construction projects but I think with all your great ideas I can handle it (I did fence my garden and helped with building my horse barn). Any good step by step books for chicken coops that you can suggest would be wonderful? I have seen some of the coop plans but they are maybe not as step by step as I need. We also have every predator under the sun here I want to keep my future birds happy and safe. So that is my goal. Hardware cloth got it no chicken wire. So what gauge is best for predator control and chickens happiness? What size hole? 2 per inch or smaller? Has anyone used the PVC coated or powered coated hardware cloth? I think the black PVC coated would really make the wire visibly disappear. Any draw backs that you know of? Insulation how much and what is the best kind? We can get down to about 1 or 2 degrees F in the winter but are in an alpine area with up to 50 degree swing in a day. Will insulation be enough to keep the girls warm? We do have snow not a lot but to keep the run dry I would like to roof it. Are their other ways besides expensive roofing to keep the run dry that would look nice like tent type structure? Must be able to handle some winds which we do get in the spring. Why raise up a coop off the ground baring floods? I do like this style but want to understand the best way to construct. I like the idea of being able to walk in inspect the birds as needed, which would be more on the ground walk in. What height of the roof do you find is best for the coop and run? Electric .is it a must? I think I would like to add it but for a small flock of 10 or 12 what types of outlets and items would you suggest for coop? We have lots of juniper branches which could be used as perches of the right diameter. My question are chicken allergic to juniper since cedar is part of the juniper family? I thought I read somewhere that cedar was deadly to chickens. I assume pine purches would be ok. Right? Are their other woods or materials that are an isuse with chickens safety? Also is it a good idea to put perches out in the run too or does this cause them to want to roost out in the pen at night before I close them up? Are their fun things you put in the run besides food (like toys) to keep the girls happy and having fun? I might sound crazy but my horses love their toys. Did you put the foundation parts of the coop (ie the 4x4s) in to the ground or did you use concrete piers or blocks (I hope I got the terms right there). What is the standard nesting box size for heavy birds? As anyone used rubber stable mats (like used in horse barns) for the flooring of their coop? Experiences? I find in my horse stalls it makes cleanup of the shaving a breeze. I think this would make the hosing out of the coop easier and protect a wood floor and warm up concrete. The rubber is pretty hard, heavy but flexible would the chickens peck it to pieces? Oh one more thing. I want to put my chicken coop up near my garden like others have. I would like to use the chickens in the spring (before planting) and fall to till the garden and clean up any bugs etc. Great idea. My garden is fenced with chicken wire under ground too but has no roof and that would be difficult because I do not want a year round caged roof on it. I would like to keep the hens in and protect them from hawks and such during the day. I like the idea of them getting a lot of extra space for part of the year. So for a 60x40 ft garden is there an easy type of netting or something light that can be rolled over the top for a few months and secured then removed for the growing season? Thanks again for all your help. I want to build a classy coop like all of you have here. I love all the creativity and uniqueness of all of them I have seen. Barb PS: I know I am just learning about chickens again (had them when I was a kid) but one thing we use in the horse industry (beside the Sweet PDZ, DE which I know you all have found) is pellet pine bedding. This product is far more adsorbent than regular shavings and cheaper and provided better traction to a horse. With regular pine shavings I can smell my horses pee spot in the morning. With the pellet pine bedding (like guardian horse bedding) I do not smell it at all. For horses it is much easier to clean the stall and the padded footing is quite nice. Not sure how this translates to the chicken coop. The bedding does need to be rehydrated but this might have a good application in chicken coop. What do you think?