The design of our backyard chicken coop takes into consideration both the scorching Texas summers and the biting cold fronts of Texas winters. During the summer, the coop is enclosed on three sides. The fourth side is left open providing optimal air flow.
In the winter, the coop can be enclosed. Two separate doors are used to form the wall. In the fall, we add the door to the roost end of the coop to provide protection from the wind at night. When temperatures turn colder, the second door in added to fully enclose the space. Each door is hung on two large gate hinges, which allows them to be easily installed or removed. The lexan windows allow in light, and the cutout door allows the chickens to enter.
A heat lamp above the roost provides a little extra warmth and protection. Last winter I thought I would spoil my feathered friends by turning on the lamp frequently. One night, I went out to the coop and discovered the girls had vacated the coop because it was just too hot. Chickens are actually pretty hardy birds, so now I reserve the heat lamp for nights when temperatures are going to drop below freezing.