Where I live, a couple weeks per year it approaches zero F. I am trying to build some coops for hatching egg production, and I have some questions about what to do. I want the inside of the coop to stay warm throughout the winter, so I want to install a thermostat to automatically kick on once it gets to be a certain temperature. Because it is cold outside, and I have other things to do, I do not want to go check for eggs every 15 minutes to ensure they do not cool below hatching temperature. So, here are some of my ideas. If you have other ideas, I am all ears. I would appreciate thoughtful input. All of my ideas will be built around this concept. Have some type of thermostat, probably a plug that is set to activate and deactivate at certain temperatures. I am guessing 35-45 would probably be the best plan for winter. These are all plugged into an expanded outlet, that runs to the house. The general run and enclosure lights will be on a 12 hour timer to encourage egg production. 1.) Use a heat lamp bulb, either 60 watt or 250 watt. My primary concern with this, is that the light will come on when it is sleepy time, and it will mess up the chickens biological clocks and they will stop make eggs for me. Would it be possible to paint, or cover the lights somehow so that there is no light coming out and only heat? The second concern is fire risk, which can be minimized with using the proper equipment to minimize fire hazards. My third concern, is that it is expensive to run these kinds of heaters all throughout winter. My third concern, is that a bulb will die and I could lose out on frozen eggs. http://www.bulbs.com/Heat_Lamps/Opaque-Bulb_Finish/results.aspx 2.) Use heat tape around the nesting boxes, so that they stay warm. I think this would probably be the cheapest alternative, however I am unsure about how accurate I could get readings from the inside of the nesting box to where the temperature controlled plugs are. What if they distribute heat unevenly? I have read about these in indoor reptile enclosures, and how they work well, but I have not read much about how they work in chicken coops, or how to use them. 3.) Heating pads on the nesting boxes. My concern here is that they will malfunction and burn down my coop. Is there a brand that is low risk of causing fire? Last thing I need is some picky chicken scratching two wires together that are not supposed to go together and massacring herself and her friends. I am also concerned the chickens will abandon their roosts and go to where the warm nesting boxes are. 4.) Ceramic panel heater. I am consider attaching one of these to a blank wall inside of the coop. I am not sure if something like this could raise the temperatures enough to have a good effect on the internal overall temperature, and I am concerned that it may take too long to raise to temperature, and whether or not something like this could withstand cold outdoor temperatures. Based on the reviews, they say it is good to heat 10 by 16 by 7 up about 30 degrees. I do like how it does not affect lighting. Here is one that I liked that is 250 watts. https://www.amazon.com/Heaters-Moun...91315454&sr=8-5&keywords=wall+mounted+heater5 5.) Ecoglow heating plates. I like the idea of placing one of these under each of the chicken coops, because they only take 14 watts of electricity compared to 250 of most bulbs. What are the plates made of? Could I use that type of element under all of the surfaces to keep the entire place warm for a cheap price? I know those heat bills will stack up in the winter, so I think the initial price of the ecoglows will probably even itself out after a year or two. Not to mention the reduced possibility of a fire. https://www.amazon.com/Brinsea-EcoGlow-Brooder-Chicks-Ducklings/dp/B008HVM56Q/ref=cm_cd_al_qh_dp_t Thank you for your time, your experience, and your wisdom.