Hi all. I have spent the last week reading posts from the members here on various topics and now feel that I have most of the information I need to get started. But, I do still have some specific question and would welcome any input. My coop will be the back of a shed that I use to store my tractor in etc. I know this isn't a traditional way to make a coop but its what I have available. I am putting the chicken door on the back of the shed and a ramp will lead to a shelving area that I already have built. I will make some modifications of course but generally the coop floor will be a little over 4.5 sq feet per chicken. The nesting boxes will be extended out the back wall of the shed and I am not including the area of the nesting boxes in the above stated floor space. I couldn't find a post that specifically stated whether the nesting box area is included in the recommended floor space or if that is considered separate. So, my questions concerning the coop are: 1. The height of the coop will be about 3 feet with the roosts a little over six inches over the poop board and floor. Am I being abusive providing a 3 foot ceiling? If so, I will get rid of shelves in the shed to add to the height but I would prefer not to do this. 2. Is it better to have the nesting boxes at the same height as the floor or should they be elevated a few inches? 3. I live in Iowa. Its either too cold or too hot. During the winter months for warmth is 4.5 sq foot too much area per bird? The birds I am looking at are considered all weather birds. 4. The shed itself has decent ventilation with windows, vents and doors. I plan on venting the coup into the shed and hopefully that would provide enough ventilation? I will also add a screened window to the coop that will ventilate to the outdoors. From what I have read you want a way to get rid of moisture without forcing a breeze on the birds. Does it make sense to ventilate a coop into another ventilated building or am I asking for trouble? I also have some general questions about the run. Total area will provide 8 birds with 22 sq foot each for 180 sq ft total. 70 sq ft will be covered with corrugated roofing and the rest will be covered with wire. To keep my neighbors (and wife) happy I am going to go the extra effort and try to make it attractive. Part of the run will be made out of cedar planks to hide the chickens from the neighbors view. The majority of the run will be cedar posts and wire fencing. 1. I would like to make the wire part of the fence out of black wire. I have seen some that is 2" x 4". Do vinyl coated galvanized fences hold up to any type of chicken abuse? The bottom third of the run will be made out of the tough smaller holed fabric that I have read about here to keep predators out. 2. I see a lot of 20 gauge wire in the stores. It seems flimsy and I don't think I trust it. What gauge should I be looking for? I am sure I will have more questions as I go. Chicks arrive the end of march so I need to get going on the project. Thanks again for any suggestions!