I decided to talk with people I know who have chickens locally. My friend described how she keeps 2 hens in a large dog kennel and lets them free-range around her backyard without a topped run or anything. Nothing bothers them and they roost on the railing of her porch or inside their kennel. They don't really have a nesting box per se, but lay eggs in the hay of their kennel. She says these hens are fine and happy, and were great during the winter without any extra care or warmth. So.... I was thinking rather than waiting until late Spring to build a coop and then get chickens, I could get two that are laying now --- if I can find a large dog kennel. That way we could have eggs all winter. We have 2 very protected places I can put the kennel if we get a cold snap, and a fenced backyard where they could range. Of course next Spring we'll go ahead and build the coop we have planned. Does anyone have thoughts on this temporary kennel idea? thanks much!