I knew people here would understand..... Two weeks from tomorrow my chicks and ducklings are supposed to arrive! I have 5 black australorps 5 Ameraucanas 5 Buff Orpingtons 5 SLW 6 d'uccles (3 mille fleur, 3 porcelain) and 3 cayuga ducks! All birds are supposed to be female except the d'uccles which are straight run. So I'm crossing my fingers for at least one female of each! With this many birds, my old water tank brooder won't last for long, so I have two weeks to build my brooder....I had one in my head, and while looking at the wickedly long brooder thread, I found someone had built the exact thing I had in my head! It will be 8' long, 4' wide, 2' high, and have two or three removable dividers in it. I have always used just pine shavings...well, reading suggestions from others, I'm going to change it up a little bit and use something similar to puppy pads. When I was a CNA, we called them chux pads, and they are like the puppy pads, only made for people, and much cheaper! I found an old package I had from when I had a diabetic cat who would pee just outside the litter box. I have read that this is a better idea for the first few days. I'm excited! Been several years since I raised chicks, and I've never had ANY of these breeds but the Australorps. Also SO excited to get into d'uccles, and DUCKS! I can hardly contain myself...just had to share! I am considering building a Wichita Coop just for my d'uccles. With no building experience, it ought to be interesting. Thankfully the brooder is an easy design.