Well, I suppose this will be a long post as it will have to include a bit of an intro, some upsetting lessons that I am currently learning, and some questions. I have to say that BYC is an incredible forum and I hope to spend some time getting to know all of you! I raised my first ever flock of RIRs this past spring and have had so much fun with them! I've never knew I could love chickens, especially when everyone told me it was crazy (even though we live on a farm in MT)! I started with 28 pullets...one turned out to be a roo but I then sold 15, so currently have my 12 layers and "Austin Powers". They are doing fabulous and I am getting between 9 and 11 eggs a day, despite the weather -25* these past couple weeks. Anyway..... We were enjoying the adventure of the layers so much we thought we would be smart (I use the term lightly) and get 50 cornish X for meat birds. We got the chicks on the 3rd of November...and I've regretted it ever since. Not only has it been hard work keeping fresh bedding, warm water, heat and everything else for them, they are dying like crazy. They did great untill I had to kick them out to the barn because we couldn't tolerate the smell in the house anymore. We put them in a box stall, completely enclosed it (but left areas for ventilation), heat lamps, milkhouse heaters, and lined with straw bales. At first they were piling despite how warm we were trying to keep it. Now, completely feathered (not quite to butcher weight, but close) they are just dying randomly. We only have about 25 left. I'm at my wits end! Not only do I feel HORRIBLE that they are dying, I feel like such an idiot for thinking we could do this in WINTER! They do not appear sick, are drinking atleast 5 gallons of water a day, have food 24 hrs, and I am throwing down fresh straw every other day. Why are they dying? What should I look for if its coccidiosis? I started them on the medicated feed, then were giving them 50 med starter and 50 meatbird feed, now they are just on meatbird finisher. I want to butcher them this week. Just to get them in the freezer before I waste any more money. How do I know that the meat will be safe if I don't know why they are dying? What about heart attacks? So, any advice please!? please be nice...I know this was really dumb to try to do in winter. Thank you!