I had everything all planned out for our bantam breeding project, then Hubby tore ... something ... and can't do anything more strenuous than walking for 4-6 weeks! So I've had to change my plans, and need your input. I've read a lot about open-air housing for chickens and how it's healthier for them (yes, I know, this is debateable but not for this thread, please). Most of the info I found was for large flocks. Ours will be smaller... for 1 bantam boy and 3-5 bantam girls plus possibly chicks they hatch until old enough to move out. Housing for silkies and eggers (all bantam, no more than 2 pounds each) Size: 4' wide x 4' deep x 2' tall (but raised 2' from ground by cinder blocks) Front: half walled, half open (faces west or east) Sides: both closed but the side facing south will be split in half and open to access nest boxes, food and water Back: closed Roosts: 2 Made with: OSB (probably) Floor: that fake tiling stuff for easy cleaning Roof: covered with tin-roofing, extending an additional 2' in front to prevent snow, wind, hail and rain from coming in Ramp up to the house (esp for the silkies and any babies). It gets quite cold here and also very hot. That's why it would be raised 2 feet above ground, to provide shade in the summer, and addiitonal shelter from bad weather. Ground directly underneath would be rocks on sand (our soil is mostly sand) for good drainage. This would be in a 6'x10' dog kennel, wire mesh (or maybe plywood) around bottom to keep in babies, and poultry netting across top to keep out hawks. The house would be smack against the back of the dog kennel (north end of kennel) and that north end would be covered either with plastic or plywood to help winter storms stay out. Water and food in house during winter or bad weather, but outdoors the rest of the time. Actually have a row of these ... 5 of them. Only the two ends kennels would be a little different with more weather protection. This set up is not so different from what we have now. Our chickens actually don't have a house right now ... just roosts in 6x10 dog kennels with practically every inch covered with boards, shower curtains and towels. But we've never had bantams before. I don't really have much construction experience but I think I could do this pretty simply. Nothing fancy. Those of you who use open-air housing for your chickens ... would this work? And ... do I need an air-vent towards the back? Should I put a "window" there or on one of the "doors" on the south side? Maybe cut a hole about 2" x 2" towards the top, cover with screening, and during the winter cover it with plastic or a board or something? Thanks!