Hi everybody, I've been lurking around this forum for a couple weeks reading up in preparation to receive some chickens from a friend who was giving away some of his older girls, and despite all the helpful advice I've read, I'm still having trouble deciding what I need to do. I know there are a lot of posts on how to keep chickens warm (including several right this moment), however, everybody seems to have very very different ideas of what *COLD* means. I know chickens are pretty cold hardy (they are, after all, wearing down jackets), and I know general things like keep the coop ventilated and don't let it draft on them, I've read several pages of the general sticky on things to remember when building a new coop, so don't worry about filling me in on the basics - I feel pretty well knowledged on those. Here's my situation - I live in Fairbanks, AK. We're under half a foot of snow, it was -15ºF last night, and the high's hardly approach 15ºF during the days, to say nothing of windchill. The sun set around 4:30pm yesterday, will rise around 10:00am, and will lose about 10 to 30 minutes of daylight a day depending on variables that I don't understand. It's November now, and by December, we'll be seeing -40º/-60º "daytime" highs/lows (there will be no sunlight at all for a while come January. Dec. will be perpetual twilight while the sun cruises along just below the horizon). So how do I keep two poor little 1.5 year old molting RIRs alive?! I currently have a 4'x4'x4' coop (formerly the top half of an unlucky outhouse), which I have done/am doing some heavy modifications to, and the outside run is about 12'x5', about a third of which is underneath our porch (snow free, very fine gravel/rock surface with about a bale's worth of hay scattered around it). The coop has room for about 3" bats of insulation on the sides, as large of an amount of insulation as needed can go on top, the front and back are currently open completely until I know how much to insulate/ventilate them, and the bottom is 3/4" plywood sitting atop a forklift pallet (meaning I can shove something under there pretty easily, if need be). I've tried to design it so that the roost is exactly centered in the coop and faced completely away and sheltered from the entrance. I'll take some pictures and post them in a little. I've got a ceramic bulbed heat lamp, and a heated water bowl to keep it warm inside. I'm more worried about keeping them alive than getting tons of eggs. They only need to supplement the egg diet of two people and be companionable to earn their keep around here. I started with an infrared heat lamp, and it seemed to keep them up too long, so we put them in a dog crate and brought them inside where it's nice and dark and warm. Hopefully I can get the coop put together in the next couple days so they don't get too sissy while they spend their nights in a nice heated cabin (and so they don't go crazy being cooped up in that dog crate!). So more exactly, how does one design a coop to ventilate but not blow on the chickens at all? How important is it to completely seal off the cracks in the construction (the outhouse was not built to high standards, and would take more trouble than it's worth to completely close all the "good'nuf's")? How big an entryway should the chickens have into the coop? Will they even be able to go outside at all when it gets down to the -40º days? If not, do I need to extend the coop for an indoor run and heat it too? Thanks for any help you can offer - I know I'm asking for most people to stretch their expertise on cold weather, but I've seen that there are a few Canadian posters who might have an idea of how to handle this level of cold.