I live in VT, where yes, we do have cold and snow. Sometimes we have 'cold-snaps', where there is a significant dip in temperature. When my daughter and I decided to raise a few chickens of our own, I knew we would not have access to electricity for the coop, as we rent, rather than own, our home and were lucky just to get the permission from the landlord to have chickens in the first place (well darn, we live in an apt in an 18th century barn, with more than a full acre for a back yard--a former horse pasture). We are also quite low income--raising a few chickens was, in part, meant to supplement our groceries with some good, fresh eggs --so figuring out ways to keep our chickens warm enough to survive a deep, freezing cold snap was a serious matter. I've searched and searched for solar options--most are way to far out of my financial reach. While we did choose what was described as a "very cold tolerant" breed (easter eggers!!), I worried as the autumn passed, and still I had no solution. One night, during autumn, we had a power-outage. Now, my daughter also has a 4 1/2 ft Ball Python snake in a 75gal tank in her bedroom. Keeping it warm is absolutely vital. When she first got it, as a tiny li'l less than 1' baby snake, I decided to keep "hand warmers" around, for those colder nights in which we might lose power. When it happens, we place the snake in an empty, small 10gal fish tank, a and toss in a few in a thick socks (folded over so Slithers doesn't slither inside one) in which I've placed the activated hand warmers. Cover the mesh top of the tank with a blanket or towel to help hold in heat, and voila! a toasty & warm, happy snake. Well, this past week we were hit with a brutal cold snap--colder than I can remember, really, especially for my neck of the woods. We had temperatures as low as -17 degrees F. That's 17 degrees below zero, plus wind chill factors that hit -20 to -30 degrees F. A few days before the cold was expected to arrive, I bought a larger than usual quantity of handwarmers, the ones that offer heat for at least ten hours. I found an old baby bottle at home, too, as well as a few old woolen socks I could part with. While a few were used in the coop during the day --in case the girls needed to warm up a bit, I used most at night. At around 7pm I brought out some warm water, to replenish their inside water, which was starting to freeze over; I put a few activated hand warmers into each sock, and tossed them into the center of the coop, under the roosting bars where the girls were snuggled together. Their water bowl is the kind that you fill, screw on the bowl, then tip upside down. Because I knew that the shallow bowl part still might freeze, and block any liquid in the jug, I used duct tape on the bottom to create a pocket, paying particular attention to the divot where the water actually comes out. Into that the pocket under the bowl, and the pocket under the divot, went a few more hand warmers. Finally, the baby bottle, with a bit of elmers glue dried inside the nipple: inside the bottle went another warmer or two. Put the top back on the bottle. replace the cold water with the warmer water and put the sealed baby bottle inside with the water. screw on the bowl portion and tip back over. The bottle couldn't turn completely sideways and thus end up just floating on top, but instead lodged at an angle, keeping the heat more to the center of the water. The water wasn't warm enough to create moisture in the air, but did help bring the inside temperature of the coop up just enough to take the sting out of the sudden cold I'd allowed in in order to add the hand warmers. Finally tho, I also added of a only blanket, and then a tarp, over the whole coop (always, Cloth before Plastic, C before P--learned it from a homeless lady I chatted with once). Underneath their coop there is also a thick layer of composting straw & their droppings that comes up to the floor of the coop, which we started in the earlier fall--it, too, has acted as a low heat source from below. And it worked. My feathered family members have survived the cold snap in fine fashion, with no frost bite, and plenty of available water throughout most of the night (by betwen 3 to 4AM, it still began to freeze. I checked the first night. But, since fresh water would be out shortly after the sun came up, I let it go after that). Sure, it was more expensive for such a temporary fix (I spent $15 on handwarmers -2 packs --containing 6 hand warmers each--for $5, times 3 sets total) but it worked. It's still colder than usual, being near 17 degrees, 4 days later, so I'm continuing to do the warmer-in-the-bottle-in-the-water-jug, and still have the blanket and tarp over the coop, with snow keeping it in place on the roof. I just had to share all this with you. I had been worried sick that I was raising chickens only to be doomed to freeze to death, because I've been too poor to afford some kind of alternative solar power source so that I could add heat, if necessary. But now, I know I can keep them healthy, alive and well, even happy, despite poverty. And I want other folks here who may be struggling financially to have some other options to protect their small flock in an emergency situation. Of course, it may not be feasible if you have a larger coop, but at the very least, if the coop is draft-proofed, the water can be kept from freezing early in the night and leading to potentially dehydrated hens. **as an aside, my coop may be small, (at least 8 hens could fit -- my 4 roost on one pole together- but with no room to really move about) but it seems my girls generate enough heat to keep their inside water liquid most of the night during the average cold nights--as low as 30 degrees. My daughter an I originally had 6, but lost one to the neighbor's evil dog, and the other turned into a roo, and had to go live on a farm with 10 new babes to crow over, lucky guy! We are considering adding one or two new girls in the later spring. The combined heat of 5 or 6 hens would surely be to keep the inside temp warm enough to prevent freezing in winter.