Good morning all. New memeber here from Mansfield, MA. New to chickens as well. My 6 Rhode Island Reds were born on Labor Day 2010 and I received them 2 days later in the mail. They have been a joy every day since. Their coop seems to be quite tight, and I have insulated it as well. I now use straw instead of pine shavings (I like it much better and keep a small layer in their run as well). They will finish with their starter food this month and will then start on layer feed. For the upcoming winter months I have purchased a small heated water dish that their waterer will sit inside and keep from freezing and a thermostat that will turn it on when it reaches 35 degrees. Can anyone think of anything else I have forgotten to prepare for our harsh winters. So far they seem quite happy and contented. Thanks to all the posters on the site. One of the main problems I had initially was mucked up food and water dishes. A simple suggestion I read to someone else about elevating them on a brick even about 2-3 inches makes all the difference in the world. Not that I dont sometimes come out and they are a mess, but 80% of they time they are reasonably clear. thanks again to all the great chicken folk on this site.