Lord, Lord....who KNEW raising chicks could be so much fun!!!! My new flock of 12 chicks for this newbie is doing GREAT!!! I cannot say how much fun I am having watching these little fat things grow...I have had wonderful luck so far no problems at all...out of 12 chicks I have had one with "da cakie butt" and have managed to keep her vent clean...I feel I was broken in when I became up close and personal to my first chicken vent....all I can do is shake my head and laugh!!! My small brooder that I made was great but I felt like they needed more space so I took a wooden storage box that is about 4 feet by 4 feet put wire on top nailed up a board for the light put them in a roost and talk about excited!!! They loved it!! It has been over 80 degrees here the last few days so I put them in a rabbit cage and put their water in there and we go sit out in the swing...(me in the swing, them in a clover patch) I love watching them...I already have one that totally responds to my voice (hoping she is a she and not a he) this one is part of 6 straight run chicks I got at the farmers co-op for $1 a piece!! (dominique) They are all growing and matter of fact fat little birds. I have a nice pile of river type sand that I give them pretty much on a daily basis especially if they get to go outside. My husband is amazed that I haven't had some loss...but I refuse to loose one. Everybody is getting their feathers and their chirps are changing. The coop is starting to take shape and also the lot...will be finished this weekend and then will move the 7 other 3 month old chicks there (we haven't picked them up yet). I have also been playing with my food dehydrator a lot and planning on making some powdered eggs for long shelf life egg supply when the flock gets old enough to lay and we have a huge supply of eggs. I love this site and appreciate all the knowledge gained from just reading on a daily basis.