I currently use pine shavings on the floor of our chicken palace. Would straw be better for the winter? Our winters are very cold. Also we were going to shut it up tight but after reading some comments I'm thinkin maybe we should leave a little open for ventilation. Thoughts? Comments? Thanks!!!! Thanks for all your input. I'm located in Northern Wisconsin (Northwoods). I'll stick with the pine shavings as it seems their cheaper than the straw - at least in my area. As far as ventilation, my man built an incredible chicken palace with a coppola on top. We were going to close up all the windows up there but now I'm thinking maybe keeping a few open for ventilation. We can get down to minus double digits in the winter so there is a concern for cold. My girls are ~15 weeks old now and every "step" is a new experience. I'm a worrying mama.