I am a new member and my husband and I are having a debate about whether or not our chickens need to be locked in their coop during the winter months. He believes that they should be kept in the coop so they will be warm and safe from predators. I believe they should be allowed to go in and out of the coop as they desire and that they are smart enough to go inside when necessary. It is my understanding that chickens need the fresh air, excercise, and ability to peck the ground in order to be happy and healthy. This is our second winter with our Rhode Island reds and they seemed to winter well last year. Are predators really worse in the winter? Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated.