Hi, I started raising chickens June of 2015, as we wanted to raise our own organic eggs and meat. I researched the net and am grateful for BYC as this is where I got most of my information. We started with a mix of 25 Columbian Rocks x Reds but added more chicks, a Blue Maran, Olive Egger, Barred Rocks, and a variety of bantams, including Silkies and a Silver Penciled Cochin. Out of this we have 18 hens and are also keeping 4 roosters. So far we are getting between 7 and 9 eggs a day! I was a little disappointed that our Olive Egger is a roo but he is very much a pet and we love him! We built an insulated house (their area being 8' x 10') with a window, two vents, and a storage area. We open the little door during the day so the chickens have a choice to be out or in. It also has a 250 red lamp connected to a thermostat so it turns off on mild days. Their house temp has been sitting at 2 to 4 degrees above freezing. So far our weather is mild (-5C to -15C) but I am a little concerned as our temps can dip to -30C or more. Are we keeping the chicken house too warm, should it be below freezing? I am also concerned about our Silkies, how cold can they handle? Other than that everything else is going great. Here are some recent pictures of a few of our chickens. They like to follow me around very close so was hard getting them to pose for a good shot. Barbie one of our Barred Rock hens. Sparrow our Silver Penciled Cochin bantam hen. Raven our Oliver Egger roo. Pepper our Blue Maran roo. Little Red our bantam roo. A lady gave us a few free hens and this little guy was in the cage too lol. He is so cute we decided to keep him anyway. Shadow was given to us, we were told she is a White Faced Black, but I don't know. Golden Girl was given to us, she is a bantam mix hen. She was very wild when we first got her but is now very much a pet and loves being cuddled. Rockette was given to us as a very small chick. She is bantam cross and very much a pet, preferring to hang out with people instead of chickens.