Hi I am new here, my name is Natalie and I have 15 chicks for the first time ever: 5 White Plymouth Rock cockerels (meat), and 5 SR of each Speckled Sussex and Buff Orpingtons (roos to be meat and hens to be pet layers). I got them as day-olds last week so they are exactly one week old today, and they all seem very happy and healthy and friendly and thriving. But two things have me surprised: 1) They don't eat all that much. I have a trough feeder and it never gets less than 1/2 empty, but that only happens every 2-3 days. And when I fill it, it is only high enough to easily reach the feed through the slots, so they are not actually eating half the trough in that amount of time. 2) They poop SO MUCH oh my goodness! I have a cardboard-over-wood floor, over which I lay down rough newspaper or paper towels. So far I've been changing daily but it is getting to the point where it needs almost twice daily changing! Yuck! No stink at all though, just a carpet of poopies and the chicks end up with tiny bits on the underside of their toes, or peck at it now and then when they spill a little feed. But still... twice daily changing? Is this normal? Or am I needing to re-adjust my notions of "clean"? The water need twice daily changing too or else it gets a little dirty in the base with small bits of poop/feed floating around (yes I have it slightly raised but it still doesn't stay sparkling clean). By the way my brooder is 24" x 42", I am currently building a bigger one ( 2' x 6') to move them too soon, and it will be expandable to 2'x 8' if needed. My concern is that we will be gone the first week in October and I need the chicks to be okay with a once-daily check by then . Not ideal timing I know but that's how it panned out. Anyway... is this all normal? Thanks for any and all advice here! I am having a lot of fun with this new adventure!