I just stumbled onto this site a few nights ago. So far I've learned more about chickens than any site I've browsed over the past few weeks. Seeing how I now have a great resource of knowledge to pull from, I went and ordered me 12 buckeye pullets from Meyer Hatchery, which I was thrilled to find out it is located only 8 miles from my house. lol The entire time I was looking at all the different chickens listed on the site, I never noticed the phone number was in my area code and same state!!! I can basically get any kind of chick I want without waiting! woohoo! l Well, I have to wait on the eggs to hatch, but I don't have to mess with the mail. hehe Anyhoo... I was thinking of building something similar to https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=6791 with an area that is totally fenced in as well as putting another fence that would surround the enclosed pen so I could let them roam around a bit more, but not wander off to the neighbors yard, or get into trouble with my dogs or coyotes. One area with netting on the top and the big area with a normal fence with no top netting. I'm also thinking of making 2 sections of fenced in area so I can keep the grass growing without moving the coop around. When one side gets a little wore out I can close it off and open the other while the grass recovers. Questions: 1. Anyone have opinions on whether it would be necessary to partition off 2 grazing areas or just make on big open area? If all goes well I plan on getting a dozen adding about a dozen more chickens and maybe getting a rooster. lol 2. I was reading about birds getting sick from galvanized fencing, especially from fence made in China. Something about the galvanizing process and the 1% lead content? Is this an issue with chickens? I wouldn't think so seeing how all the chickens I've ever seen in pens were surrounded with galvanized fence! lol 3. How high should my fence be in the open area to keep the chickens confined within the space I want to provide them with? 5 ft? 4. How many nesting boxes would 20 hens need? I read on this site where they share boxes? 5. What would be the best material to put in the coop? Pine shavings, straw, other? 6. I read that chickens like to poo while perched. I think the site said that 2/3 of all pooing takes place on perches? Would it work to make a removable box under the perches? Maybe put a medal tray under it for easy cleaning without having to remove all the bedding material out of the whole coop? 7. I'm going to be insulating the coop for the cold winters we have in Ohio. I'm a little concerned with the water freezing in the winter and wondered what would be the best way to keep the inside of the coop above freezing without wasting money? Seeing how the coop will be open for them to get out and run around a bit it would seem that a heater would run 24/7 and might send my electric bill through the roof! lol I'm most concerned with how people handle the cold weather more than anything really. I don't want my ladies turning into ice cubes or not getting enough water!!! Well, this has become quite long and it's getting late. I hope to get a few ideas before I get back from the lumber yard tomorrow. I build residential houses for a living, so the building part will be relatively easy. I'm just worried that my ideas on how I want to build the coop are practical and useful. I've learned over the years that just because an idea seems great doesn't mean it's going to work, especially when it comes to livestock. I'm mostly building this coop and getting chickens for the eggs. Even though I love to eat chicken meat, I'm not sure I could butcher something that I'll probably have a name for. The other reason I want chickens is so my niece and nephews can come over and have fun feeding them and collect eggs to take home for breakfast. It's kinda boring when they come over to my bachelor pad and don't have anything interesting to do. They might hate me if I kill their pets!!! lol Although... chicken raised in my backyard would probably be tastier than frozen chicken from the super market. Thanks in advance for any replies. This site is wonderful!!! Oh... anyone have experience with the Buckeye breed of chicken?