Well, we just got the good news... we get to keep our house! And, by proxy, my garden, and our garage and the plot of empty yard that my husband is always complaining about mowing! This also means that I can now afford to think a little more seriously about chickens. Yes, I know it always starts out as 2-3, but here's what I want: Chickens: Layers - Dominiques ideally (rare breed preservation go!) Cuckoo Marans sound fun with their dark-speckled eggs. I'm not a big fan of eating eggs, I find them tasteless and bland and I'll only eat hard-boiled if I've got some salt to dip it in (can you hear my blood pressure screaming?) I've also only ever had store-bought. The husband enjoys eggs though so if I get eggs from my own chickens and don't like them they won't go to waste. I'm interested in having a bird for meat too. I don't know if I'd be able to kill it, or if my husband would be able to, which is why I chose Dominiques. They're described as an old dual-purpose bird so if we chicken out (hee hee) we'll still have someone who can lay eggs. I need the chickens to not be very loud. I don't know much about the Cuckoos, so if they're noisy I'll have to pass. I also won't be getting a rooster. So, on to cooping! There's a -40 windchill right now and I'm very worried about any living thing outside. I need advice on coop construction with cold and WINDY conditions in mind. I don't mind insulating, but I'd like to avoid needing a heatlamp if at all possible. I want to build a tractor so I can move it around. I'm thinking an A-frame shape with a small run underneath to start. I'm a bit of a design snob and have already been drafting sketches for norse-themed decorations (glad I've got my priorities straight!) Anyway, talk to me about coops in the cold, what can the chickens tolerate, how large of an A-Frame at the base, what should the pitch of the roof be? What's the best access to get into the coop (no way am I crawling in there, the thing needs to be deconstructible), Should I put nesting boxes hanging on the outsides of the ends or allot an end to be nesting boxes? (I'm thinking the latter for heat conservation, less surface area means less places for heat to escape) Thank you all in advance! I'll start drawing up some plans and post them in this thread as I work on them.