I'm participating in the NYD hatch. I have a large animal cage by Living World that I'm going to move the chicks to from the incubator and I now have an electric hen (heat plate brooder). I want to move the chicks outside as soon as is reasonable but I guess I need some encouraging words and some ideas to make sure I get things set up for them in a way that will be good for them and "easy" for me to manage too (cleaning, etc.). I have an open air hoop coop. I live in SC and the temps are really swinging some days. For instance, the high today was in the forties. Tomorrow, it's set to be 70, 77 on Sunday, then like 48 for a high on Monday or Tuesday. Lows are "generally" in the 30s in January, but some nights can get into the 20s. Here's the interior space of the coop with an idea I *wanted* to set up in the coop, but the "lid" just WON'T work in that space (it's the remaining puppy pen panels covered with feed bags). There would be too much of a gap from the perimeter fence and the lid since I'd planned on trying to "hinge it" from the cattle panel on the hoop. It's too wide to just rest on top. The roost is in the way. I can move it a little bit, but there's only so much room for me to fit on the other side as it is if I need to get there. Here's a photo of it without the pen: Now, I have a friend that's borrowing my 3x3x8 pvc introduction pen that's wrapped in hardware cloth and zip tied all to hell. I should be able to get it back before the chicks hatch. I had it set up next to the coop at one point. These pics are from back in the summer. This seems more ideal, but holy crap would it be "fun" to have to crawl into on a regular basis to clean or raise the electric hen, and I'd be risking squishing some chicks because it's almost a one way in/out time for me being about 5'9" I have some 6x8 tarps I can use to cover portions off from the wind/weather. I've also considered just moving the animal cage into the coop, but I would have to find a way to cover at least a portion of one end to shield from stray poo from roosting birds. The top has two curved lids that open independently and there is a small door on the side that could be opened up. Also, if I used this, could I use cardboard to help cover around the sides and possibly top on one section of the cage? I can get some pretty sturdy boxes/cardboard from work. Any input/ideas/concerns? Are there more creative ideas that I might be able to make use of that don't involve putting in a lot more $$$?