Hi all! I'm Amy (please excuse spelling errors... I cant seem to get my spell checker to work here...) I'm new to chickens and could use a wee bit of guidence! My DH and I bought a 2 acre mini farm near Dallas TX (close to Wylie-- which doesnt allow chickens.. but we are outside of city limits and I have a letter from the local athorities that say its ok in case anyone has an issue) and it had a big coup and run and as soon as I saw this place I knew it was the one. I'm trying to get everything ready for the new arrivals. I'm trying to come up with a set up for the chicks and to get the hen house/run ready for them. I'm going to try to post pictures and would apprecate help. I'm intending on starting them in the house in a spare room until they are old enoug to be outside.... the challenge will be keeping my dog out of the room. SO I need ideas on how best to do the set up for them I have a heat lamp, themomiter that has humididty on it as well, lots of left over moving boxes, chick starter, waterers, feeders, but what bedding should I use? I ordered from Murray McMurray hatchery. I'm a little worried about getting dead chicks but after trying to find chicks around here locally I couldnt find the variety I wanted. I have no intrest in showing or anything like that so I don't care if they meet a breed standard or not. I want them for eggs and pest control purposes, not meat as my hubby and I are primarily veg only. the list bellow is what I ordered. I realize that chances are I will have to split them into two flocks due to size diffrence, which is fine because I am also planning on doing some work on the barn and opening up the opposite side side of the barn. Ok here is what I ordered: GOLDEN CAMPINES hen GOLDEN WYANDOTTE hen EGYPTIAN FAYOUMIS hen LAKENVELDERS hen CREVECOEURS hen SILVER POLISH hen GOLDEN POLISH hen W. C. BLACK POLISH hen ANCONA hen ARAUCANA hen SPECKLED SUSSEX hen RHODE ISLAND RED hen SILVER SEBRIGHT BANTAM St. Run RED PYLE GAMES BARRED ROCK hen GOLDEN SEBRIGHT BANTAM St. Run BUFF ROCK hen B T BUFF JAPANESE BANT St. Run DELAWARE hen BLACK JAPANESE BANTAMS St. Run WHITE JAPANESE BANTAMS St. Run WHITE ROCK hen SILVER LACED WYANDOTTE hen SUMATRAS St. Run, Golden Penciled Hamburg hen Free Rare Exotic Chick And here is my set up... I could REALLY use pointers on how to make the most of it.. set up, where to put what... and everything.. Remember Im a total newbie so PLEASE point out everything.... Our barn (the house behind is not ours but everyones ok with chickens and even roosters... no one seems to mind) The run... three difrent kinds/sizes or wire cover it from a foot into the ground all the way over the top. BTW.. that snake is fake. but I did find a real one in the barn last week (baby rat snake).. I know... bad. I have a few small holes to patch but otherwise it looks in good shape. The posts are from a security fence and are cemented into the ground and where it meets the building is conected to soild sheets of metal that is wired to the mesh... pretty darn secure! The tree was just trimmed (yeahh! to our great neighbor) and is very much alive.. its just wintering now but Ive been told it gives great shade during the summer and is WELL fertlized thanks to the chickens The rabbit hutch was used previously to house a rather bad tempered rooster, after he became a dinner it was used as an outside shelter for hens that woudl'nt come in (according to a neighbor who took care of the chickens when the homeowner moved to another state and left them behind. From inside of the barn... it has a window that opens and closes... should I put a better wire screen over it or would this be ok? There is small cat door but I wont be using it because we are too close to a busy 55 mph two lane rural road. The inside. Will I need more to room for the number of hens? There is only 1 board for them to stand on... I really want to put more... where? How? and there are two random chains hanging down... heat lamps?? feeders?? Ive spent alot of time cleaning it.. but its still dirty. what kind of bedding should I use? its jsut a dirt floor now. From inside the run. Will this be ok for the 26 if all of them make it? I dont know the exact deminsions biut its alot bigger than it looks. I'm 5 foot 7 and the roof is about 2-3 feet over my head if that helps. The door between the hen house and the run can close during bad weather/night. and YES... there is both power and water inside already What else should I do?? I'm trying to get ready.