I live in west Tennessee, where the lowest temps usually are in the middle teens, but most of the time, the coldest night temps are in the high twenties. That's the worst, because many January or February nights never dip below 30 or even 40 degrees. My chicken coop is 13 1/3 feet by 7 feet (an old dog pen), built out of hurricane fencing. There is a metal roof on top to protect the chickens from much rain (though not all rain -- if the rain comes down at an angle, it can still get inside the pen). I have two black-and-blue thumbs (both lefties), but my brother has mastered the art of using the hammer and the saw, so he built me a plywood henhouse that is 6 feet long, 3 feet wide and 2 feet tall, which we put at the far end of the chicken's yard so they will have plenty of room in their yard to play. The roof of that henhouse is clear plexiglass, so that sunshine can come through it, though he has built the two nest boxes inside the henhouse in such a way that they have their own roof and provide the hens with some privacy. One area of the henhouse (1 foot by 3 feet by 2 feet high) is sectioned off with hardware cloth, and behind it we can put a fan and/or a heater and/or a heating lamp with no fear of the chickens being able to get to them, and no fear of any rain being able to get to them. The roof on that particular part of the henhouse is solid plywood, rather than the clear plexiglass roof over the rest of the henhouse. The inside of the henhouse itself stays dry during even the hardest rains, though my girls NEVER seem to take advantage of that. They will actually sleep outside the henhouse, near the gate to their fenced in chicken yard, even in the rain, and even in those rare occasions where the rain is coming down horizontally and can get into their sleeping area. Their preference to sleep at the gate of their chicken yard has me particularly worried about the coming winter. I can heat the henhouse pretty easily by putting a thermostatically controlled heater or else a heating lamp inside the henhouse in the area that is screened off and out of their pecking reach. But how do I heat a 13 foot by 7 foot outdoor area that is just fenced in with hurricane fencing and a metal roof? I have been thinking about placing a 2 foot tall piece of 3/4 inch plywood around the bottom of the fenced in chicken yard to block some of the wind and cold. I have also considered putting 100 watt red outdoor flood lights along the fence line, maybe mounting them at the top of the 2 foot plywood "walls." I am thinking of using flood lights rather than regular red heat lamp bulbs because I cannot guarantee that rain will not hit the light bulb from time to time. (I learned from experience that if a drop of water hits a hot red heat lamp bulb, the bulb will explode. You DON'T want to ask me HOW I learned that, LOL...) Would several 100 watt red flood lights heat the area enough to get them through the winter, given the fact that much of their chicken yard will still be open to the elements? Or should I put some kind of actual heater in there -- enclosed in some kind of enclosure that would keep the chickens from being able to touch or peck at the heater, and protected from any stray rain drops that can get into the chicken yard? If it is best to use a heater to heat that fenced in yard, what kind of heater would I want to use? And one other question: what is the best way to keep their water from freezing when the outdoor temps go below about 35 degrees? Thank you in advance for your insights and advice. And thanks for letting me join your forum. This forum looks like just the place this newbie chicken father needs to be.