We purchased 10 straight-run chick-a-dees a week ago (a few were 8 days old at the time and the others were 15days old). We have RIR, BR, and a few unknowns. They are growing so quickly. They are all getting their feathers in, growing combs, and establishing order in the brooder, but we have NO IDEA about their gender. I have read so many posts regarding who is first to get feathers, combs, etc and I'll just wait. We have introduced them to the world of French-style green beans (which they LOVE) and scrambled eggs (strong like, but not a wide spread hit) with biscuit (not eaten by many). We are feeding them by hand while all of us (in the family) take turns holding our babies. I have begun to introduce the dog (while on a leash) to the area that the chicks are located (the basement). The first day, the dog (Gracie) was overly excited, barking/whining, and lunging toward the brooder. The second day, yesterday, she only whined once she got within a foot, then calmed down to the point that I allowed her close up to the brooder to sniff and exam the babies (though the hardware cloth of course). I definitely don't trust her, but I want the dog to realize what behavior we expect from her early on while the chicks are babies and protected. This way, I figure, she will watch them grow and they will be exposed to her behavior along the way so it won't stress them out come laying time! We will be building our coop during this coming week reusing a dorm loft frame as the main portion of the coop. We plan to have half coop and half run. We live in the north and hold potential for indoor winter time, so we didn't want the coop too small. The run might be smaller than recommended for run space per bird, but they will have access to the entire side yard after we get home from work each day. We are all really enjoying our new adventure in chickens and look forward to the days to come...and the eggs too!