We live on a semi-secluded, suburban plot with a great corner of our yard that's woodsy and abuts city land (i.e. no neighbors on that side or in the back). It has an old, approxamately 150 sq ft dog pen already built in the far corner that we'd love to convert into a run for 2-3 chickens. Does anyone have any suggestions on conversion in order to create something very low impact (visually), yet safe and functional? We've researched city, county, and neighborhood association rules, and, we are technically OK with our location and plans (unless, via association rules, someone really insists the flock is a commercial enterprise rather than pets or declares it a nuisance, or the modificatons we make to the pen make it appear to be a completely new structure - the coop size is small enough that we don't need special approval) We think our best approach is to keep things small, low key and visually work into the woodsy background. That being said! From my research, I was thinking a 12 square foot coop would be fine for 2-3 birds. Is there any prebuilt source that's made of natural materials and is extremely plain and functional? Also, I'm concerned about converting the run. Right now, it's wooden fencing, about three feet high, covered with wire mesh and ivy. It's a pretty attractive structure and we hope to keep it that way! We can replace the existing chicken wire, (and regrow the ivy) and bury some but is there a minimum safe height? Do we need a cover? I'd like it to be a safe space for the chickens to spend the day, there are definitely hawks and owls in the area. What I can't imagine is creating an entire enclosed structure of mesh, but perhaps there's no alternative if I need something safe and reasonable to keep tidy? Finally, and this might be a bit outside the range of this sub-forum, but does breed play into the type of space we need? We were thinking Barred Rocks and/or Orpingtons.