Hi, I'm pretty new here, but have been lurking and making a few posts. I plan on building a coop this winter and getting a few chicks in the spring. Okay, now for the newbie question: Everyone talks about how much sqare foot per chicken one needs in a coop. But it seems that people in different climates may need more or less than that. Maybe a guy in Florida that grazes his birds all day needs less coop space than a person in Alaska whose bird will be in the coop out of inclement weather. I'm in NJ and it's cold here now, well at least a day or two ago it was... anyway, I would assume that during some of these cold spells that the chickens will not be going out, but will be cooped up - perhaps days or weeks on end. So, does the four square feet per bird take winter into account, when the flock will have nowhere to go? Or is this what they need just when housed over night? Or both? And this square foot number is just the floor plan, and does not include a space for a waterer, feeder, roosting space (or a dropping pit?), nesting box, etc., right? (am I missing something else?) I plan on getting 4 chickens, but may be able to squeeze a couple more (this is based on what I figure I can share in my back yard between birds, kids, St. Bernard, garden). Any help much appreciated... I've been doing a lot of reading here, and elsewhere, and sometimes the most simple things seem to have skipped over by the authors (or most likely by me).