Hi, Although I just joined today, I have been lurking for over a month, learning all I can about raising chickens and designing a coop. I figured I had all of the information I needed to design my own coop when my dear wife suggested we use an existing wood shed. Since this was going to be her project (raising the chickens) I was more than happy to make the adjustment. I set about designing the coop (and adjoining storage area) for this 10' x 12' shed with an 8' gambrel roof. I figured I had everything down pat when I happened to mention it to a friend of mine - an old-timer who has raised chickens off and on for the past 75 years . As he would say, he "licked all the red off of my candy," when he told me everything I was doing wrong! Of course, I argued with him that I knew everything about coop design and raising chickens (from reading BYC, of course!) but he countered with arguments borne of his many years of farming here in Northern Missouri. Now I am thoroughly confused and, since we want to get our chicks very soon, would hope to clear up some misconceptions he claims I may have. I told him I was working towards 2 to 2-1/2 square feet per chicken. He said I need 4 Square per regular and 5 square for Large breeds. (We want Golden Comets- a Large breed). I told him I would be insulating the coop and he said that you NEVER insulate a coop! I said I wanted to open up the upper 2' at each end for ventilation and he said NO! He wants me to open up about a 2' high by 5 or 6 foot wide area on the south end of the shed with the bottom of the opening about 2' above the floor and place the roost above the opening. And not allow the wind to blow through the coop no matter how high the opening. He told me never to let the chickens out during the winter unless you want their toes to freeze off. (Maybe that's why the 4-5 square foot floor space?) As I said, now I am completely bumfoozled. I want to do this right but some of what he says makes a lot of sense. Can anyone set me straight? Is my friend just living in the past or am I too intent on "doing him one better?" HELP, please!