Hi folks, My son, age 10, thinks he wants to be a farmer and my grandparents had chickens when I was a girl so I love chickens. We got our girls in spring of last year and let them free range most of the time but we live in the Chicagoland area so it gets cold. Our shed, into which we built our coop, was hard wired so we had a heated water unit plugged in and occasionally we used a heat lamp if it got down to near zero or below. The electricity inexplicably went out so we were temporarily going to use an extension cord until we got it fixed. Unfortunately, it caused a fire and I watched helplessly in tears as the shed burned down and we lost our girls. It was absolutely terrible and I feel stupid and after reading more about fire safety now. And I sure do miss my ladies. I feel a little apprehensive about starting again and want to make sure the new coop is as close to perfect as possible and want to investigate more about the best breeds for us. We had two new hamphshire Reds and one Americana. They were great layers, laying nearly everyday except for the Americana, she had just stopped laying about two weeks before. Anybody have info on coop building and plans. They had good personalities but the Tina, my NHR would peck at my Americana. There is so much I want to learn. And I don't ever want to repeat our awful mistake. Anybody ever have this kind of loss?