I just got 8 new chicks yesterday. They are soooo cute and they're pacifying the children's desire to get a dog (for now). We all love our chicks and we enjoy the older chickens too. They free range part time and are fun to watch. We have a commercially bought chicken house from when our chickens were chicks. We used it until fall when we constructed a sturdier hen house. It is no longer in use but I cleaned it up in anticipation of new chicks. I need to put it back together and find a nice grassy spot for the enclosure. I'm worried about drafts so I've asked my hubby to put in another wall to protect them around the front. He already put in boards on the sides to keep it from being quite so drafty. I can't find many pictures of the coop, but here it is. The front drops down to a ramp and we have an enclosure that works with it. Last frost here is in June (well, sometimes earlier, but for gardening purposes anyway). Will another board in the front be sufficient for keeping them protected or do I need to do something else in addition? Will I need to keep a light on them? How long is the light necessary? How old until they can free range with the other hens? Our yard is fairly well enclosed though we've had one hen somehow figure a way out into the front yard once. I think my DH found the spot she came out from and put something in front of it to keep that escape route closed up. I worry about predators (especially racoons) so they're only let out when we're going to be home. I also worry that if I let the chicks free range too soon they won't go back to the hen house automatically at night like the older hens do (we started free ranging a few weeks ago and they're last spring's chickens). Any feedback would be appreciated!