Hi, everybody. I've read a lot of what's been posted about open-air coops, and have read Open-Air Poultry Houses for All Climates, by Prince Woods, which link I found in one of the other threads (thanks, whoever offered that!). Most of what I'm reading in the forum is from people who seem not entirely familiar with the concept, or who just don't trust it. The book claims, over and over, emphatically, in no uncertain terms, and with lots of real-life examples, that properly constructed open-air coops keep chickens healthier, more comfortable, and more productive than do coops with four walls, even in high winds and temperatures well below zero. I'm in WV; temperatures here occasionally hit zero, but most winters it doesn't get that cold. We may spend a week at a time with temperatures no higher than the teens, but usually it's warmer. I have a 10x10 dog pen (wood floor, about a foot off the ground) that I'm hoping to convert into a coop. Not having heard of open-air coops until today (when I was looking into R-values of plywood), I had been planning on four walls, but now I'm leaning strongly toward making the south wall entirely of mesh, thus making an open-air coop. The designs the book offers aren't just three simple walls with the fourth of wire mesh, though. Assuming Woods is correct about the superiority of the open-air design, I wonder how critical the various design details are to keeping the chickens well protected from the elements. I had some trouble following all the construction details provided in the book, and I'm starting with an existing structure, which makes it harder to conceive of how to proceed. Nearly everyone on the forum who talks about the open-air coops seems to think closing up that fourth wall in cold weather is the right thing to do, but that is the opposite of Woods' idea of open-air coops. According to Woods, an adequately designed and built house provides plenty of protection even in severe weather, and closing up the house in winter undoes the good. Is there anyone out there who has a truly open-air coop, even in winter, who lives in a climate at least as cold as mine (again, rarely reaching zero, with single digits unusual), who can help me understand what's most important about the details of construction? I really like the sound of open-air coops, but I don't want to do it wrong and regret it. There's lots of speculation, lots of experience with coops that are open some of the year, and some experience from people in warmer climates, but actual 21st-century experience with open-air coops in moderate-to-cold climates seems pretty scarce. I think I have read posts from people with the kind of experience I'm looking for, but I've lost track of them among all the posts from people who were just speculating, and/or who missed the point. I'm too pooped to troll through the threads again in search of those nuggets! My first and biggest question is this: Would it be all right to just make the fourth (and tallest) wall out of mesh, assuming that wall didn't face prevailing winds, and assuming other details were well done? Or would I need that offset, two-layer design of the Woods house? He offers a couple of other designs as well, but none are as simple as what I'd had in mind for the closed coop, with a simple sloped roof. If you are familiar with year-round open-air coops in cold climates, I'd really appreciate hearing from you! Thanks!