I have seen a couple posts about folks starting out on their coop-venture & wondered what the perfect coop would look like? I have already started mine, and as I have set a budget of $0 I build it when the materials come my way. It is a hybrid coop/tractor design where the run detached and the 2 sections are moved separately. Got the coop mostly built (it's that last 10% that gets you bogged down in the mud) and just started the framing for the run. Stopped & waiting for a sheet of plywood to come our way (nesting boxes), a couple pieces of roofing, and some cage wire. As I sit here, I wonder what my peeps think are absolute must haves, things they wish they would have done and, things they wish they wouldn't have done. (I am in Houston, so we are fighting heat & not cold in designing the coop.) A couple things, after looking at all your designs, I have decided to include are: Bucket & nipple watering system (mounted on the run, bucket outside) PVC feeder & grit system. Deep litter method, (not sure if my coop is tall enough for it though) External nesting boxes (well, they hang off the back, but accessed inside) There are so many amazing folks on this board, and I am NEVER going to meet your level of creativity or chicken nerdiness... (for real, the guy with the automated watering system & feeding system and door and solenoid this and that... your brilliance in coop-gadgetry is at a WHOLE other level... trying to figure out what you did would be like me trying to explain to my labrador how to program the DVR... it would only frustrate you and waste your time...amazing though.) I am just looking for good, "best-practice" ideas that have worked for you. Oh, and did I say I need to find a way to do it for free? Here is where we are so far: 1) I am a caterer and found this table in one of my store rooms and thought it would make a perfect coop for my 4 ladies with a built in drip proof roof. 2) Framed it out with a pile of old 2x4's from a friends yard (another project addict) 3) Clad it in recycled fence pickets from one of my friends who redid theirs Opening in back for 2 bay laying box. Gonna open up the sides and make ventilated doors for them for access & clean out. From there, it is a blank slate. Just gotta get it done before the ladies need their home. I appreciate all your amazing input up to this point and hope to pick up a couple "must haves" from this conversation.