Hi, my family has decided that we should try raising some chickens and we are very excited but not very knowledgeable. This site seems like an invaluable resource. My first thought was to get some hens already laying in the spring and butcher in the fall, but after a bit of reading here, it doesn't seem to difficult to keep them over winter. But with no heat in the coop, how do you prevent the eggs from freezing? I thought we'd get a few egg layers and some meat chickens as well. A friend at work with some experience raising chickens told me I should probably keep these birds separate as the larger meat birds will beat up the laying hens. Is this a real concern? I'm sure I'll have more questions, but we'll start with these. Thanks for any help.