I thought I'd report back on my hunt for a chicken coop. After lots of research I'd decided on a relatively cheap (about £100) wooden coop with a smallish run that I could extend. I told my partner (and purchaser of the coop) about my choice and he promptly told me I had to think very carefully about the purchase and set about redoing my research (men!).
Anyway, he booked us in to visit Southmead poultry near Leatherhead. The very helpful lady explained all about keeping chickens, talked us through the pros and cons of wooden and plastic (eglu) coops and sent us on our way with lots of questions answered and even more to think about.
After a couple of days pondering we finally decided. We didn't fancy spraying the coop weekly with red mite killer so we decided on a Eglu go. It seems like the healthier (for the chickens) and low maintenance option. I hadn't seriously considered one of these before as I thought they were too small for 3 hens (and too expensive). But the chicken lady seem to think that it was the size of the run that's important and the coop should be cosy (if put in a big space they'll huddle together in one corner) and David was happy to pay for a good coop.
So we have an Eglu go and are getting run extentions to give the chooks lots space when they are not out and about free ranging. I'm going to keep the girls in my garden to start with whilst they get used to life outside the cage and will then move them to the allotment where they are to spend their life ridding me of slugs, providing manure for my compost and eggs for my breakfast and generally entertaining us and hopefully having a fab time to make up for their bad start in life!
I'll post some pics when the girls arrive!