With the passing of October, its come a full year since the hens came home to roost. Twelve months ago I would have been undoubtedly biased on the merits of keeping chooks. I probably still am. And while some things went very well... not every idea was a winner. But with the gift of hindsight, over the next few days, allow me to share with you some of the triumphs and tragedies.
The floorspace measures there-bouts of 1.2m across the front, by 2.4m deep. Additionally the nesting box is raised, and provides an extra 1.2m square of protected space. Since my birds don't get out while I'm not at home, my aim was to give them the maximum amount of room inside the coop to stretch their wings and enjoy all the best things being a chicken affords. And indeed, many sources will tell you that three to four chickens will fit comfortably in this space. They lie! For the two chickens I have, I now consider this amount of space to be a travesty. Sometimes even the best chicken friends just need some time apart, and right now they can't often get a moment alone to think - so instead they take to pecking each other for the tastiest feathers. I'm moving up plans for a permanent access to all the space in the chicken run. Not even the Hilton is a very fun place if you can't leave the hotel.
My next regret is the usage of aviary wire over chicken wire. The idea was that it'd be better at keeping the pestilence out (i.e rats). I've since learned that aviary wire is a much more abrasive choice of decorative walling, and you'll have the poor birds dropping feathers whenever they rub up against it. And to further rub salt in that wound... if the rats want in; that aviary wire ain't going to be stopping them anyway.
I built a perch in the nesting box for my birds... I've never seem them on it. Maybe this is because the nextbox is already elevated and protected. But I'm far from an expert on chicken behavior, and they are strange birds, indeed.
Always make sure your egg collection point is easily accessible from outside the coop, and never assume the birds will lay in a spot that's good for you. Mine currently lay as far from the door as possible, oh, the spite! Buy some tongs.
Finally I'd say unless you've got a specific design or space to fill, consider buying a pre-made coop. It'll cost about the same and will take a lot less time.