We are thinking about maybe converting our small horse barn to a chicken house after our old pony is gone. Here are some of the questions running through my mind: We think of our pets (and the few hens we would get would be pets) as family members and I want to avoid any of our pets outliving us. Our animals live long lives (horses all but one lived into their 30s, all cats but one into their 20s, well you get the idea) and because chickens can apparently live to 15 or 20 yrs, I'd like to get old hens with a shorter life expectency so that the commitment would be shorter. We don't care if they never lay an egg. Is it possible to find anyone who has hens that are 10 yrs old or older that they would sell? We have cold winters here in Vermont. Would infra red lights mounted above the roosts be enough to keep the hens warm at night? We only want a few birds and I doubt if their body heat would be anywhere near enough to keep them warm on 20 below zero F nights. Also I'd like to allow them to free range on our two acre pasture during the days. We are in the process of replacing the perimeter fence with 3 foot page (welded) wire mesh. Is it possible to clip their wings so that they could not fly over this barrier and escape into the (unpaved) road or onto the neighbors' properties? Thanks in advance for any light you can shed on these dilemmas, and for any suggestions you might offer.