I am wanting to start keeping chickens and have a couple of what are probably very simple questions. I am thinking about keeping 3 or 4 hens as a combination of pet/egg factories.. And I am trying to sort out the basics before diving in. COOP ? I am a very hany guy and do all my own woodworking, mechanical repairs and home renos so construction is not an issue. My first question is about heat. The last two winters have been fairly mild here in Southern Ontario but even then there were several nights where the temp was below -15C. Assuming I built the coop similar to my dogs house whish has a 2" rigid foam insulation core sandwhiched between sheets of plywood what whouls I use to heat it? How warm to they like to be? Any favorite coop desings for multi temp climates like we get here? RUN ? I have a spot that is currently a dog run, but she is too much of a princess and refuses to go in it. It is 4 1/2 feet wide by 30 feet long. Would that be sufficiant sive for 3 to 4 chickens? The base is currently 5" of extra smooth 1/2" pea gravel, what is the optimum substrate for the hens run, grass, sand, or leave the gravel? Predator wise we have a few raccons and skunks but not many, what we do have is a bunch of irresponsible cat owners who allow their cats to run free. Are they a concern? The dog is great to keep them away when she is out but she is mostly an indoor dog. The run currently is surrounded with a 4' fence.