Heather lives in a "suburban" neighborhood in Lawrence, Kansas.
She requested some accomodations for a few chickens, so they could live in her back yard and supply fresh eggs. (When Heather was a teen, we kept a few chickens in our yard in Des Peres, near St. Louis.)
We looked on the Internet and found many different coops, but decided to design and build one of our own.
The coop has been designed so as to be easily moved about the yard by one person. That pretty much limits its width to about three feet. So, based on guidelines below, the coop floor should be about four feet long, plus a couple of nesting boxes.
Guidelines for coop design (for happy & healthy birds):
I'm thinking the "run" should be very lightweight, very portable and be moved around a lot more than the "coop." Possibly even have a sort of low, narrow "hallway" connecting the "run" with the base of the "coop." I've been thinking about this because of the damage that can be done to the grass/lawn, etc. in a very short time by a few chickens.
Here's an example of a lightweight run.
I now remember how we fed the chickens in an earlier coop -- the food trough was OUTSIDE the confinement of the coop. The chickens had to stick their heads outside the "cage" to reach the food. This kept them from messing up the food. Maybe the same system can be employed here.
I made the coop's base a bit higher than in my original sketch. (2 ft wide wire will still cover a side.) And, the coop will not be as tall as shown in the sketch.
The 10 inch wheels from Harbor Freight ($7 each) work great. It is very easy to move the coop as pictured. Here is a photo, taken 5/2/10:
Here are three images made 5/14/10, (after a bit of Photoshopping):
Showing how the ramp (closed) will secure the coop:
Here are two taken 5/15/10, after the ramp was made:
for photos of coop on July 20.