I live on 4 acres in Western North Carolina. We bought this property recently, and it just seems like we need to do something with all this room. Also on the property when we moved in there was a large 2 story building outside that is split into 4 parts on the bottom there is a large garage type area, and then also on the bottom there is a storage area and then behind that there is a canning cellar. It looks like the upper floor was used as a chicken coop already, there is no smell, but what looks like nesting boxes, and we did find a few feathers here and there, and the neighbors said the man who lived here before kept chickens. It is a very large space though, and I would want the chickens out during the day, all the neighbors have goats and chickens, so everyone's animals are chicken friendly. Not too worried about predators other than hawks, but I figure a nice sized rooster should help with that. I know very little about keeping chickens beyond what I have read. I am also not sure on what needs to be done to get the upper part of the building ready to house chickens again. It is a large open space, and then there is a smaller enclosure inside the main part. It is 3 or 4 feet tall and this is where the nesting boxes are. There are no perches of any kind that I can see, and there would be no way to get to the nesting boxes other than to walk through the whole area and then go inside of the smaller enclosure. I feel like I need to install some shelves and roosts, and then maybe some access doors to what would be the nesting area. I plan on the chickens being cooped at night, and allowed free roam of our area during the day, but what keeps chickens from wandering off into the woods? I have so many questions, so anyone with a little free time that wishes to help out a soon to be chicken herder? Keeper? Farmer? Just let me know. Pretty please. It would make a large chicken coop, I just don't understand what the inside smaller enclosure was for, but it has a small door with a latch, and as I said one side of it has been made into nesting boxes. I want chickens mostly for the eggs, and just to watch them, and to keep down the bugs and such, also for the free fertilizer. I would like to start with a few adult chickens and then in spring bring in a few hatchling chicks, or just hatch a few from the adults. So what does a chicken coop need in the way of roosts and shelves? I know I will need a ramp for the chickens to get into and out of the upper part, but it is like 10 feet up. Is this too high, I mean I guess it isn't since there were chickens in there before. Would it be better to clean out the lower part of the garage type area and build the ramp going down into the garage and then out into the yard, or use the convenient door that is on the back side of the upper part of the building? There will be no run, as the whole lower field on the property would be the run. Also, if the chickens have this large amount of room there shouldn't be too much smell should there? We do have skunks, opossums, and raccoons, but with the chicken enclosure being so high up and enclosed with doors I don't think they should be too much of an issue. We did find a snake skin in the upper part of the building, so I assume that snakes might be an issue, thus why I feel that a larger breed of rooster would be beneficial. There is just so much to look over and I feel super newbish about the whole thing obviously. And I am known for the hard time I have figuring out how to start a project. I will get some pictures after I get it all cleaned out and have some idea in which way to move...Anyway it is a very tall building with a slightly pitched roof, but inside of the upper part there is a secondary enclosed flat roofed area and what looks like a row of nesting boxes. This space has a door with a latch. On the back side of the building there is a door that leads to the top portion of the building. All the rafters in the upper are exposed, but would I still need to add shelves and what not? Would I leave the door to the smaller inner portion with the nesting boxes open, and then close the main upper door in the evenings, or would I put all the chickens into the smaller space with the nesting boxes and then close that door as well? Anyway, I have lots of planning, reading and measuring to get to. SO this was kind of my introduction, kind of my first pitiful plea for help. I am rather long winded/fingered as you can see, but hey, it is what it is.