First off I'd like to start by saying this forum has so many great articles and posts. Some of which have answered my questions, other which leave me asking more. This is probably because I live in a very specific climate and as a first time chicken owner, I desire to do things in a specific way - which regardless of all my precautions will inevitably be filled with mistakes! I have designed a couple of blue prints already for our future-chickens, but then I find some information which makes the coop design hazardous, so I scratch it and change it all over again. While I realize that chickens are going to be time consuming, I want to make this coop as time efficient as possible, while still providing a healthy environment for our chickens. This lead me to researching the deep litter method, and I wasn't sure if it would work for the chicken run. All the information I found, seemed like they used it for inside the chicken coop, and we would either have a 3 sided coop, or a pull out tray for the poop. 1). If we did DLM in South Florida, would the chicken enclosure need to be roofed to protect from rain? The coop would be roofed, but what about the rest of the run area? What happens to the litter if it gets drenched, and how will that affect chicken health? 2). If we didn't do the DLM, what would you suggest? I've seen some that use sand, and I thought about using sand, and then we have a run with a vegetable garden, and I was thinking of putting some berry trees in pots in their run (10wx12lx7h). 3). Chicken coop walls. After much consideration, I was thinking of having 3 walls and a roof during most the year. With two side walls and a back wall that has nesting boxes. The coop would be elivated with perches, and we would have easy access to rake the poop from under it. And with threat of cold chill or hurricanes, we would have a slide in bottom (the coop is elevated off the ground) and a front panel that we could secure, giving them 4 walls and roof, with ventilation, litter tray, perches, and nesting boxes. Other wise, given good weather, they would have a 10x12 area with perches, swings ect, and their home would be a 3-sided shed like design, even at night we would have the panel off on the front. Keeping in mind the 10x12 area is fully predator secure. Here are some pictures: My mom and I went to the county fair to look at the live stock, when we came back we caught Dad putting up the front support beam for the roof after digging a new post hole. It has to get cleared out, but this is one of the views of our future chicken coop. This is the west side of the chicken coop (white wall). From post to post it's 6 foot, so it's about 12 feet long, and 10 feet deep. Love the collection of wire mesh from previous garden projects.