After getting our feet wet with adult hens this summer, we are beginning construction on a permanent coop soon. We have three hens at the moment who are free-ranging and bedding down in the coop part of a chicken tractor at night, but this is not the greatest permanent solution, and I want more chickens! So my plan is to order about 12 (I would like to have 10-12 chickens total and am concerned about "attrition" with the chicks) chicks from My Pet Chicken, three of four different breeds. I live near Charlotte, NC, so we don't necessarily have bitter winters, but it can get pretty cold some days with a few days of snow. When the chicks are old enough, I will transition them outside using the tractor until they seem ready to move into the new coop with the three older ladies. (not exactly sure how I'll know that they are ready). I'm not sure how far in advance My Pet Chicken lets you order (I'm going to contact their customer service to try to get an idea and their suggestions), but I'd rather err on the side of getting the chicks too early (dead winter) than too late (late spring). Do you have any suggestions or words of advice? Also…I plan on using a large rubbermaid-type storage box for the brooder…how big of one should I get for 12 chicks?