I'm looking to get about 6 chickens, most likely in the spring since it's going to take me a while to do all this planning. We're looking to get 4 regular sized chickens and 2 bantams. I've heard mixed things about how much square footage is needed per bird. We live in North Carolina, so our weather is mild and I don't see that there would be many times at all that they wouldn't be able to go out into their run. There is the possibility of complete downpour, and I don't know how chickens really feel about that, but I'm also looking into covering a part of the run with corrugated roofing so that even in the bad weather there would be about 36 square feet of covered run area. Here's the plans so far for the run. 12 feet by 12 feet run, with the coop being in the run, but a 17 inch clearance under the pen, which would then allow them to walk under there and therefore not take up floor space. So that's 144 square feet, which is 24 square feet per bird, which from what I am reading should be more than enough. The coop though, is where I'm not sure how to go. The run is going to cost about $250 from my figuring, which is a lot, but it'll be well made and should keep the chickens happy and safe. This does however make me want to keep the actual coop costs down. I have no access to used lumber or anything, so this is going to be all new materials. I am thinking of building the Purina Hen House, which is 4x4, but am concerned whether this would be enough space per chicken. Looks like it would be 2.6 square foot per chicken. Which, is just over the minimum of 2 sqf that I'm reading in some places, but well under the 4 sqf I'm reading in other places. I was thinking of upping it to 4x8, however that will double the cost of building it..and put me up a a cost I'm getting anxiety just thinking about! So, with a run of the size I've mentioned and 2 bantams and 4 regular birds (we're looking towards easter eggers or dominique) would 2.6 sqf of interior space be ok? Or do I just need to suck it up and find a way to make this coop 4 x 8? Thank you for any advice you guys can give me!