I have been an observer for some time. I have gotten a lot of answers here. Great Place. I Retired in Jan 2014 and decided to start a new flock. All chickens started in March this year. I did a lot of research I have a mixed flock 12 black Astralopes, 5 Golden Commets. 4 Golden Laced Wyandots., 10 Buff Orpingtons, One being my rooster. I researched this rooster because I did not want an attacker. My Girls live like queens. I have my coop inside 4 ten foot length by 6 foot high dog kennels. 2 of them have a tarp over them. They get locked in the coop and the kennel at night but free range my back yard during the day. I live in SE Indiana already had a 5 inch snow. The girls definitely did not like that. I plowed tracks for them with my ATV. My egg production went way down as soon as fall and daylight decreased. I read some info on here about winteriing and adding lights to increase egg production and there are a lot of believers and non believers about the lighting. I got down to 12 13 eggs a day out of 30 hens. I added 2 125 watt red heat lamps. I leave them on 24 7 right now. Eggs have increased to 23 24 eggs a day for several days. I got 26 eggs today. I am a believer in lighting and taking care of the girls. When I open the nest box and hens are setting I talk nice to them and pet them. I then reach and get their eggs. I check eggs 3 to 4 times a day. I have learned a lot and still learning about taking care of these girls. Does any. I keep food available all day. I buy my layer crumbles and Rural King, I also feed 2 butter cups of scratch grain in the morning and 2 in the evening. All summer I had a garden and they ate a lot of tomatos, cucumbers zucchini, Cantalope and watermelon. I also have guinea Chicks. Lost 3 so down to 5. They are probably the dumbest birds I have ever seen. They have finally this winter stay close to the chickens. They range in the back yard a lot and feed with the chickens since bugs are not available. They won't go in the coop the roost in the trees. Since one got attacked then have started roosting in the enclosed yard.