Okay, kinda freaking out a bit...let's ignore the fact that I am a little on the neurotic side for the moment...oh and I am new too. First & foremost I made a mama heating pad because I liked the fact that they could snuggle under it & heat lamps scare me. I've had it on all day and the sand underneath is not really warm. Is that normal? I have it about 2.5/3 inches hanging above. (is this even tall enough for them anyhow!?) The pad is laying on chicken wire & has a hand towel on top. Friday I put a puppy pad on top and within 20 minutes I had to take it off because part of it was turning black! Through the towel & everything, so this aspect made me feel a little better...that it was getting warm enough I suppose. I did buy two 75 watt heat bulbs today for a back up. I really only intend to use one though, two very last resort without the pad. I don't want chicken nuggets! Can a heat lamp rest on chicken wire? Also, looking at the grey tote this is where their food & water is... I know when i bring the little boogers home I need to introduce them to their water right away. But, now I am questioning the functionality of my brooder! To get my hand in there I will need to lift the lid...which in turn lifts the waterer! Any ideas? Also how far up should the bottle be? (I have a nipple) I thought about making a little trap door on top that I can swing open & close but....I have 5 cats. Which are very crafty I might add. The only doors they have not opened are entry doors! And two are very large (Maine Coons) and I worry their weight will push my little trap door open. I am feeling a little defeated at the moment, I thought I had it in the bag. I bring home my first set of babies tomorrow afternoon so don't have much time. Sooooo eggcited though on a side note!!