I have a question about wintering my hens. I live in Portland, Oregon. Our average temperatures between December through February are 36 to 45 degrees F. We do often get one good snowstorm, but the snow rarely lasts more than 3 days. Above are two photos. Photo 1 is of the tiny henhouse I started with. Photo 2 is of the small run I built around the tiny henhouse. If you look, you can see it inside photo #2. I have since built an 8 x 8 COVERED run attached to the smaller run, so my girls have plenty of space. The covered run wire is buried and there is concrete around it so a predator would REALLY have to want to get in. I have covered the sides of the SMALL run with heavy plastic shower curtains to block the wind and rain. The large run has no plastic, but it's pretty much right up against the walls of my house. Here is my dilemma. I want to go to the California desert from December 1 through March 1. My son and single male roommates "say" they will take care of the hens while I'm gone. But right now it's 8 am here and nobody in the house is awake. It's been light for over an hour. They also often get home long after dark. I don't want to spend the cash for an automatic door. I've spent enough on these girls! My fear is the hens will either a) not get let out early enough in the morning or b) not get their henhouse door fastened at night. The girls put themselves to bed, but I usually go out and close the door to the tiny henhouse. I have 3 hens and they generally huddle together on the roost at night. Do you think it's a major issue if the coop door stays open all night? My concern is the cold. Will it be too cold in there for them if their wee door isn't closed? Opinions? Suggestions?