This will be our first winter with chickens. Our coop is a good distance from the house and we are planning on running electric out to a heat lamp inside the coop, if needed. When DH built the coop he insulated all of the walls, except for the door. The door is a 2-in-1... big door for cleaning and human access with a smaller opening for chickens when the door is closed. There are also three vents, one on either side at the top that are small and one long skinny vent that runs along the entire face of the coop just above the hatch for the nesting boxes. We use sand as the floor of the coop. Here are my questions: 1. How can we winterize the door? Will chickens go through a "flap" of fabric if we cover their access hole? I was thinking that I could cover the entire door with fabric/tarp and cut the sides where the access hole is (and add some weight to the bottom)to make a flap. 2. How many of the vents need to be left open during the winter? The long one is going to be closed for sure. We have plexiglass cut to fit each of the vents so that we don't lose any light. 3. Will hay on top of the sand be enough "insulation" on the floor? We use hay in the nest boxes already. 4. Do we need to heat the coop? We are located in Western NY, winters can get harsh if the lakes decided to kick up the snow consistently. 5. If we do need to heat the coop.....We saw these: http://www.tractorsupply.com/thermo-cube-reg-thermostatically-controlled-outlet-2170275 at TSC. Would it be better to use this to control the heat lamp or is plain old timer better Here is a pic of or coop (wasn't quite "cosmetically" finished yet): You can see the one long "vent"/window in the front above the nest boxes and the vent at the peak of the roof (it's the same on the other side).