So I inherited a holey (literally) coop on this great piece of property. It was being used as storage for car parts and seemed like it would have been cat's wet dream had we just emptied it and stuck some birds in. I don't even know if they would have been contained by it! There was nothing secure about it. It was a mish-mash of chain link, 2x4 welded wire and other small bits of whatever was around. I should have taken a picture before we began destruction, but of course I forgot! So, we took everything out and removed everything except the four huge corner posts (railroad ties!) that are cemented into the ground. The railroad ties make about a 6 by 12 foot rectangle (maybe a little larger). I want to expand the coop by going another six (or more) feet wide and 12 feet long (adding 3x more space at least). However, I can make this larger if it won't give enough inside room for the girls, there is plenty space out there! I was thinking of having one section as the inside area and the other three open for grazing (one covered for shade, two sunny). Does the 4 sq ft rule apply to the 'inside' area of the coop only, or do I get to count the fenced are as well? I was also thinking about having some outdoor roosts since these guys have been sleeping in the trees I thought they might be more comfortable outside, is that possible? Does anyone have outdoor roosts? The property came with about 5 roosters, 40 chickens, and there are probably about 20 chicks at this point. We used to have more chicks but they are slowly dying off since these chickens are completely free range. I want to protect these guys better! I expect to have to get rid of some, but I want to be able to keep about 20 to 30 hens depending on the advice I get here. Their feeding area will not be inside the 'house' part of the coop, it will be under the roofed section outside. So, that will leave the whole interior of the coop for nest boxes and roosting bars. How close will they sit? Do they each need one foot, two feet? Also, do hens sleep in the nest boxes? So can I count off a few places on the roosting bars? I've found so much information my head is spinning and I don't know what to believe! Sorry this ended up so long, but I'd really appreciate any help or suggestions!