Thanks for all the advice! I really appreciate it. I went to The Stock Shop to check them out and found a couple of the chicks I was looking for. Since my coop will be set up soon, and the chicks have to be in the house until they are old enough for the coop anyway, I finally took the plunge! Ended up with 2 Americauna pullets and what I think is going to end up as a silver laced polish - straight run, so I'm crossing my fingers that the polish is a hen. Got all the goodies recommended for starting out (except chick grit...checked out several shops and no one had it...coming in on the Amazon Express tomorrow), and have them set up under a heat lamp, and already growing like crazy. I'm always amazed at how fast they grow!
I'd love to check out someone else's setup - even if via photos - to see how you store all your odds and ends. There's so much stuff to keep on hand...grit, calcium, regular feed, scratch, etc. My coop will have an exterior "shelf" I can put some supplies on, so I just need a weatherproof tub or something for the smaller stuff. And I'll use the big metal trash cans from Home Depot for the big bags of feed. Any other "storage cheats" would be appreciated.
Anyone convert a small water bottle into a nipple waterer? I want to set up a nipple waterer when the chicks can graduate to the wire mesh cage. I want them to get used to it before they move to the coop, so I know for sure they know how to use it. Plus, it would take up less space in the cage and not end up with bedding in it 5 minutes after I change the water!
Also...anyone have issues using a wire mesh cage for older chicks? It's made of hardware cloth, including the floor, with a removable tray under the floor. They won't be able to have litter in the cage, but I can put another substrate down (i.e., rubber shelf liner) if needed if the wire won't work for their feet at a younger age. Wondering how young they can transition, too. Recommendations?