Back in June we inherited six lovely ladies from a friend who was moving back to Sweden. This was brought on by our 14-year old daughter, who'd had been wanting (begging, nagging, pleading for) chickens ever since petting and falling in love with silkies and cochins at the fair three years ago. So, there we were in May, coming to the last of a slew of construction, landscaping and pool projects: Building a simple shed to store garden tools and miscellaneous leftover tile, paint, etc, fencing off the area to store garbage cans, and install four elevated raised beds and a couple of fruit trees. This area is behind our garage, houses our pool equipment and is currently fenced on one side (our pool is on the other side of the fence), with the retaining wall/bluff one one side and garage wall on the other. All told, an area about 20x50. Suddenly, with the arrival of the ladies, our 8x8 shed expanded to an 8x12 shed/coop combo and a 4x15 run. We figure we've got room for two small raised beds to grow veggies from seed while the remainder of the space will serve as an enclosed chicken-friendly yard for free ranging. Here's what the site looked like when the ladies were living in their very small Omlet coop and run: Originally, the wood pile was along that back wall (with 25' tall Torrey Limestone bluff in the back ground), but we relocated it because we determined that north wall, which is inset three feet, was the best place to put the run. I pretty much dropped everything to fast-track the project and spent the next two weeks researching (stealing) coop ideas, learning about chickens, and rummaging through our building supplies to see what could be re-used/repurposed in effort to keep costs down. Ha! And I was not sleeping at night worrying about their living conditions. Three weeks later, with a design on paper, I sent the project to the contractor to bid while my daughter and I went shopping for doors and windows. The coop requirements were to house six chickens, full height with stand up door for easy cleaning, a raised floor on one portion for food and supplies storage, but accessible from outside the coop, nest boxes with exterior access for egg collection, an automatic pop door to make the early and late risers happy, and designed to use the deep liter method. Because the building itself is visible from our pool and entertaining area, it had to be aesthetically pleasing and fit with the Spanish style architecture of the house. The bad news that the contractor couldn't start until August meant I had to go another route to get the run built ASAP. I found IBCrazy chicken coops on Craig's list and fortunately he was able to build and install the run two weeks later. The run (2x2s attached to pressure treated 2x4s on the base) is made with double galvanized hardware cloth and has a Tuftex type vinyl roof on a 12' section. The 2x4 base sits on 2' wide piece of hardware cloth anchored to the ground with 6" long landscaping staples. I will seed the perimeter with rye grass after the coop is completed. The day the run was installed, my daughter and I broke down a couple of pallets and cobbled together a raised nesting box. Paint was miscellaneous leftovers from our previous home. Not being builders, we didn't measure the door opening before we built the nest box--we just used the wood pieces in the lengths used to make the pallet. And although we have a power drill, the only power saw we own is a scroll saw. Nevertheless, it fit through the door with a scant inch to spare. We moved the ladies in that evening. I don't who was happier--them or me, but I finally got a decent night's sleep knowing they were safe and had room to spread out.