Hello all: We are planning to start a chicken coop this spring on our hobby farm and hope to get some advice from you on the subject. We are going to section off a 15 x 12 foot section of an enclosed shed for the purpose. The ventilation is good. I'll be addressing any drafts etc. to make sure it is cozy. We have lots of pasture and would prefer free range. Initially we would set up a temporary wire enclosure to help them get used to their coop. We plan to start with 8 pullets for laying and then add 12 chicks to raise for meat as a start. If all goes well then maybe the next batch of chicks will be about 2 dozen. No more than maybe 32 chickens at a time and probably only 8 or 10 over the winter. This is where I could use your help: Insulation The shed is boarded up on the outside and the inside but is not insulated - other than the pocket of air between outer and inner boards. The coldest it gets here is about -10 degrees F. Do you think I absolutely must get it insulated? Heat Lamps I'm a tad concerned about the fire hazard but if I need heat lamps then I will get them. Do you recommend them, how many? I plan on a heated water bucket for water so the lamps are only meant to provide warmth. Breeds / kinds of chicken What do you recommend in particular for our meat chicks? We don't need to go for a 'meat' breed - certainly not if they are prone to heart attacks etc. We are not looking for the absolute efficiency of feed to meat conversion. Birds that will take a few more weeks to get to slaugther weight are fine. Most important are healthy, easy to care for chickens to stock our freezer. Anything else that you think I am missing would also be appreciated. Thanks!