We are new chicken owners here and have our 5-month old black copper maran in a 12x15 hoop coop under the shade of large trees. We have roosts at one end and will install nesting boxes in a month or so. Living in Texas, where our temps this summer are hovering around 102-105, I haven't covered the top, except for solar screen - and both ends are open. I was afraid it would get too hot inside. Originally, I had a nesting box inside, but I removed it when the hen decided to switch from sleeping in her roost, to sleeping in the nesting box. I wondered whether she was afraid of predators - we have coyotes, raccoons, possums and hawks and thought perhaps she felt more secure in the nesting box. I'm pretty sure the hoop coop is safe - we added a welded wire apron all around the bottom to prevent any digging. Today I purchased another BCM pullet from the same seller (we both agreed they were lonely for each other), so I'm hoping they'll sleep on the roost tonight. Do chickens need an enclosed area to sleep in, or are they fine in an open-air pen like I have. Or, is the enclosed area on a pen just to protect from rain (which we probably won't get here until November...sigh) I'd appreciate any help you can give.