I have a small flock of 9 hens that I absolutely adore. I got 6 of them from someone who thought they smelled and were too much trouble and 3 of them from a friend who found them on a chicken farm crammed into a small 18X18 INCH wire cage... no nest, no life, they had never been on the gound or out to free range. Well last week my awesome hubby and I came down with the worst stomach virus. I was laying on the couch, so was he, it's 9:30 at night... and newsbreak comes on... it was supposed to be scarry cold out... like 18 degrees in So. Louisiana... I just asked him if he thought my girls would be okay. He got up put on his heavy coat and said he'd be right back... about 15 minutes later he comes back. He said he ran his heavy duty construction cord to the coop and plugged in the heater from his constuction trailer, it is 1500 watt, fully encased, automatically shuts off if tipped or bumped, but he secured it to the wall 2 ft. off the floor, just like he does in his trailer. THis is an 8X8 vaulted ceiling, three flat shelves along one wall with a ladder to the top, cross bracing for the roof serves as a roost to, 3 bucket type nests and 2 square milk crate nests. The hen house is 3 sided the 4th side is open to the "Fort Knox" chainlink, chicken wire, galvenized 2" wire, corregated aluminum bottom skirt outdoor run and enough pine shavings and DE on the inside floor for a good sized mammoth to nest in! So the next day I feel a little less green, but hubby still not so good... and go to throw out a little cracked corn and open the outside run so they can all free range for the day, to find that he had also put up a heavy canvas tarp at the open end of the coop about a foot off the floor! HE IS MY HERO!!!!!!! So, before this I was getting 3 or 4 eggs a day here and there. The 6 hens were young when I got them their combs turned red about a month ago... It is colder than you know what here and I am collecting 9 to 10 eggs everyday now for the past week! There are only 9 hens, how is that possible? I'm giving eggs away like crazy! Is it okay that they are laying that much? WIll it take away any needed body heat? They are all free during the day they all run around and scratch, some of the late in the day layers return to the coop to lay then parade around singing like crazy. These hens are very friendly they come up to both of us and squat at our feet so we pick them up and cuddle them, it's like a conga line, the next one will sit on our boots waiting to get picked up! If I had any idea that chickens were this much fun, I would have done this a long time ago!! Married to the most awesome man in the whole world! Momma to 2 grown men with great wives and 4 kids of their own, 1 german shepherd, 1 chinese crested powder puff, 2 copper marans, 2 RIR, 2 BR and three very grateful hens of unknown ancestory! Counting my blessings EVERYDAY!!!