I have my first-ever chickies who are a month old. DH and I build a cute little A-frame coop with a "lower level" that is all wired in, including the bottom, and an "upper-story" that is enclosed on a 4' x 8' base. We have yet to move the chicks in there, as we just finished building it and need to drag it outside and make sure it is weatherproof before setting it in place. My only concerns with it, are that I haven't allowed enough ventilation, and that the poultry netting will not be enough. Both of those are fixable issues, however they would need to be addressed. I had also always planned on fencing off a good-sized run or yard that the coop would sit inside. So, we are about to finish this up by the end of the month. HOWEVER, yesterday I took the chickies out for their first taste of the great outdoors. I put them in our 20'by 30' dog pen, which is butted up against the side of the garage, has tall chainlink, is reinforced at the bottom with 1/2" hardware cloth buried 6"-8"deep (we had a digging dog at the time we needed to contain), has sun, shade, deep gravel for drainage along the garage side, and is close enough to the house for comfort but far away enough to make any crowing rooster bearable in the early a.m. There is also a pet door with access to the garage, and DH is thinking that we should build a new coop INSIDE the garage, and the chickens can use the pet door to go outside. I guess we could cut out windows and ventilation for the chickens in the side of the garage - would have to check with DH for that - but it would certainly be convenient since the garage has water going to it, too. Then I would just need a new pen for the dog, but she is a Basset who does not jump, so I could get away with a 4' - 5' tall wire fence if necessary. OR, maybe I could put our current A-frame coop INTO the dog pen, somehow - but how???? - and then if the dog was sharing the pen with the chickens, I could shut the chickens into their coop so they could still be outside, but in the wired-in bottom level of their coop. Our dog is pretty mellow and I feel confident that she wouldn't be ripping into the poultry netting... she's too lazy, laid-back and well-fed! On the other hand, the A-frame would make a great brooder coop! New chicks could be kept in the indoor upper portion at first, with a heat lamp, and then allowed down the ladder into the enclosed bottom. The access from top/bottom is sturdy enough to be predator-proof, or we could put it in a separate fenced yard for added security. So... what should I do? Build a whole new coop inside the garage? Find a way to stuff the A-frame into the dog pen? Keep to the original plan of putting the A-frame into a fenced yard and finishing that first, and then having the option of expanding into the garage + dog pen? Decisions, decisions.... Or should I see if there is a relatively feasible way to get the A-frame in and out of the dog pen, so I can put it in there right away, and THEN work on a new coop inside the garage... and when that's done, I can take the A-frame out and make a new separate yard for it? I kind of like that as it allows me to work with what I already have (A-frame & dog pen), but HOW do I get a 54" wide, 6ft tall coop into a chainlink enclosure???? WWYD?