The great adventure begins. Payday happened today, so on the way home I'm stopping to pick up all the necessary items for my very first brooder. The little ones should be arriving next week ... but as the breeder has informed me: don't count your chickens before they're hatched. Perhaps that is very wise ... but I'm counting all the same. I've spent the day scoping out all the various bits and bobs I'll needthank goodness my boss was out today as I've accomplished little else. I've read and re-read all the good things I'm supposed to do and all the bad things I'm not supposed to do. I promise I will check for pasty butt every morning and every evening. I will faithfully monitor the temperature and make sure to dip each beak in the water (gently) upon arrival. I will make a special place for dust baths. And, most important, I have acquired my first synthetic hen (see below) for the brooder. I know she looks out of place in the office (please note bar graph to the right, at the rear) but once at home and neatly ensconced in the brooder (far away from the heat lamp) I am sure she will perform her duties well. She took care of a number of young humanoids for more than several years; I know. I checked her references. More adventure this evening as the vast array of stuff finally is transformed into a home.