I moved here last June, and quickly started building my kitchen garden (which includes 4 chickens and 3 ducks for eggs). I am addicted to chickens, ducks & backyard farming & just love Maine.
I did no insulate my coop last year but I did fill it with tons of clean hay, and wrapped the run in plastic, and piled bales of hay around the coop box for a few of the coldest months. I also put straw down on paths for the chickens to range in & tossed vegetable peels & scraps out in the hay. That kept them pretty active, even on some of our less pleasant days.
I think I got pretty lucky last "winter" though, and am not sure it was such a great test of Maine winters where keeping a flock is concerned.
I am building a bigger coop this month and am not going to insulate it, either, but I will be using hay bales around the outside again, and probably for more of the season.
I am so sorry about your hen, Hoppy. It always seems like the favorite hens, doesn't it? Anytime there is something dramatic that happens here (and, it seems from posts on BYC to be standard) it happens to my favorite hen, or the man of the house's favorite hen.