Hi everyone - we have 13 americauna chicks, about 10 weeks old (born in July). We live in very northern Vermont, on top of an exposed hill, out in the country. Today (October 6th) it was 40 degrees, and it hailed a bit. It's very cold and windy, and the winters are very harsh. I have read books about raising chickens, but this is our first flock. We have an area in our barn (no other animals in the barn, and it's not heated) in a horse stall, 4 feet x 8 feet, insulated walls and ceiling, wooden floor, and one window. We have a light in there just in case. Now - not all will be hens, we don't know yet which will be roosters, so we're not really sure we'll end out with in the end. But for now, we have the thirteen. Also, in addition to the 4x8 space, we are building a nesting box that will attach to the outside of their "coop" so it won't take up any of the space inside (we'll cut a hole for them to get to the box, and provide a ramp or "landing pad" for them). They have been in their coop in the barn for 2 weeks now, and I only left the light on for heat for the first couple nights. Last night it was 50 degrees in the coop. I'm afraid that the winters will be very cold! Will they be old enough? Is this enough space for them? We hadn't planned on letting them out this winter because the wind always blows, and there are no trees for them to take shelter under. Also we have a dog - yellow lab - who loves to chase birds, so we are hoping to put off the meeting of chickens and dog until the chickens are old enough to fend for themselves a bit more. We also put down shavings and hay on the floor, and every few days we add some new hay. We did DE when they were in the brooder, and are thinking we'll add this to our routine once/week. Also thinking about buying a waterer with a heating coil, or else the water will freeze. As we were planning and constructing this, friends who keep chickens advised us to not make the coop too big so that thier own heat would keep them warm. But in reading around it seems like they need more like 8-10 feet per chicken. Two books I read said 2-4 feet per chicken... This is a temporary fix just for this winter. Next summer we are planning a permament coop in another area of our barn with an outside run. Thank you for any thought and suggestions. We love our chickens! They are so much fun.