We built ours 30" off the ground for two reasons:
1. It puts the floor roughly at waist height, making cleaning easier.
2. We have limited space for the coop and run. The space under the coop became part of our run.
We have had ours for 4 or 5 months, so no personal experience with cold temps. Ours opens into a covered run, so it will be protected from any buildup of snow or ice. The manufacturer suggests building a bit of shelter or awning over the door if it is exposed to ice and snow.
The light sensor on the Pullet Shut door is programmed to close the door only when it has been quite dark for a period of time. (I have seen, but don't remember, the exact specs.) This prevents the door being closed when a dark cloud passes over. I have never had a problem with mine. Honestly...
There are two primary types -- guillotine-style doors that slide up and down, and doors that swing out. We have a Pullet Shut door, which swings open like a traditional door, and really like it.
There have been several very helpful threads regarding both types over the past few weeks, with...
I put down 18" of gravel, topped by a layer of wire mesh and then a layer of landscape fabric. I topped it all off with 6" to 8" of sand. I have not had any problem with our hens getting into the landscape fabric. So far, I am really happy with the sand.
We have a Pullet Shut door and are very happy with it. There have been several threads recently about this topic, and Pullet Shur doors in particular, that you should be able to find with a search.
We had a hard time finding a weathervane that was the right size for a small (4x8) coop. In the end, we bought a Good Directions garden-size copper weathervane. It is 10" long by 11" high, and came with a roof mount and pole. It's available on a number of internet sites for about $125. Here are...
Early this spring, my DW said several of her friends had gotten into raising backyard chickens, and she wanted to get some. Then, about three months ago we went to IFA (Intermountain Farmers Association) to get bird food. They had chicks. Within a week, we had chicks.