I’m going to use this thread as a bit of a blog, & to get advice from seasoned meat bird growers as I go. I’ve been thinking about raising meat birds for a while, & finally decided to do it. (We have a small flock of 6 egg layers, but I want to put meat in the freezer.) I know it’s early, but I’d been price shopping Cornish X chicks. I only want to start with about 12-15 so I’m not overwhelmed with too many birds to butcher for my first time. I wasn’t planning on getting birds for another couple months, but Kansas State University’s poultry unit is having a chick sale next week for $0.50 per chick, which is way below what I priced from hatcheries online. So we’re going to bite the bullet & go for it. We’re picking up 15 chicks tomorrow. I have a set-up for them in the mud room to start. All I’ve got is a large wire dog crate with a heat lamp. I know that for so many chicks, it won’t last long, but it will get them started. Our property has a large dilapidated 2-story chicken house on it, which has been unused for many, many years. The landlord said someone used to raise game birds in it. There is a section of it, probably 12’ x 25’ or so, that was already sectioned off from the rest of the building. We closed off the open portion with chain link, & added some 3’ tall wood panels where it isn’t solid to help block wind & make a better barrier. I’ll take pictures of it & post them. It’s not pretty, but it didn’t cost us a single penny, & I think it will be functional. At what age should the birds be moved outside? I know that this is not the ideal time of year. I will keep a heat lamp on them once outside as well, as it’s been very cold lately. I read that meat birds need no less than 20% protein. I bought a bag of 24% starter at Tractor Supply. My thought process was to switch to Nutrena Meatbird feed (22%) after this bag. Is the 24% starter sufficient for them, or is it absolutely necessary to use only meatbird feed? Thank you for any advice & input. I’ll post pictures of the chicken house tonight, & of the chicks tomorrow night.