Hi everyone, I am in MN and winter weather is quickly approaching us here unfortunately. Last year I used straw in the coop and I am really hoping to NOT go that route this winter unless you all feel its necessary to keep them warm. We didn't lose even one of our chickens last winter even with a week of -40 temps so we must have been doing it right last year However, the mess the straw caused I hope to do without this year. The coop right now as it stands: concrete floor with pine shavings on top. Either needs to be cleaned right now or if I am able to try the deep litter method for winter can I start off with the bottom layer being dirty and just start throwing more shavings on top? If we do use straw does anyone have any suggestions for keeping the straw drier? Does that stall dry do the trick on keeping straw dry? What do the rest of you here in these cold states do? I want to make sure they are warm enough and my hubby doesn't think that the pine bedding is going to do it.....plus they really did enjoy scratchin around in the straw last year! When should we start offering scratch to them do you think? Also another question is that our chickens are just getting done with molting, I HOPE, and some of them were getting their feathers back in and the Roo managed to interfere with some of that....will they be ok if they have bare skin on their backs this winter??