I've been reading so many posts from people frantically trying to get their hen houses/coops built so they could move their chicks out of their house. I thought I was the only one who was a dipstick and didn't plan ahead and have the horse before the cart ... oh wait, that would be the house before the hen! I actually had a friend giving me her chicken coop. So, having waited five years for chickens, I rushed out and bought 12 little fluff balls. Three days later my friend had to renig (not her fault) and I had no chicken house to move here. The little fluff balls are growing - much faster than I had anticipated. We then had a second friend say we could have her chicken house. My hubby and sons went to move it here and it fell apart when they tried to take it apart. It just hadn't been built properly in the first place. The wood was all rotten. So - I have 12 little chicks and no home for them except the cardboard box in the living room. The little fluff balls are no longer fluff balls - they are feathering out.:| How fast can they grow?? My husband said he would make me a chicken coop/run. He's a contractor and has all the tools and ability so that was great. BUT... we're very short on money and he's also so busy that he only gets a few hours each weekend to work on it. After putting in about four weeks on it he decided that this chicken house was way to nice and expensive for chickens so ... he turned it into a very much needed storage shed. That meant that we had to start all over for a chicken house ... the chicks keep growing!! This has turned into a nightmare. The chickens are chickens!!! They're like almost full-grown and still living in boxes in the house! I'm frantic about the lack of proper space for them so my son and I turn an old swingset into a small (6x3ish) chicken tractor so I can take turns getting them out of the house each day. Finally - we have to leave town for four days. We can't leave the chickens in the house as our neighbor who can check on them can only come once a day and they go through their food and water at least twice each day because I don't have room for the large feeder/waterers in their boxes. We stayed up till midnight the day before we were supposed to leave, still didn't have the chicken house safe so we moved our four day trip back one day and finally got the chickens out of the house and into their house at 4:00 the day before we left. Sorry this is so long but you just have to get a general idea of what this whole chicken story has been here. My husband has been ready to throw out the chickens multiple times. Thankfully he loves me and always wants to make me happy. I also was willing to get rid of the chickens if that's what he really wanted. He always changed his mind after a few hours of not working on the chicken coop. Anyway - to make a long thread shorter: Things I've learned: 1) Always have the chicken house done before you get the chickens! You never know what can happen and you end up with very large chickens and no place to put them. And - they grow really, really fast!! 2) Plan ahead and scrounge as much building material as possible. Having to 'all of a sudden' make a chicken house means that you have to buy things at the regular store that you could have found for pennies at garage sales or even free if you'd taken the time to be looking for months or a year. 3) Love your other half lots and lots when they let you keep the chickens! By the way ... no, our chicken house/run isn't finished yet but it's secure and usable. My hubby works on it every weekend - we think it will be finished in a few years:/. Not really, I have high hopes for it being done yet this summer! I got the chicks on March 21st this spring. They FFIIINNNAAALLLYY moved out to their own house on June 1st. They were about one week old when I got them so they were 10 to 11 weeks old and still living in the house. Anyone else make some mistakes or have things to share that we can learn from?