My first foray into the world of chicken keeping: I have three lovely 2.5 month old Silkies. Got them as few day old chicks from a breeder in our area who breeds for show. No plans to show on our end, just pets. We recently got their coop built, and moved them outdoors. They're cooped up all night, during the day, let out for a few hours per day when I'm out working in the yard. My questions: Dusting for mites/lice? Dusting the chickens? Dusting the coop? With what? I've read conflicting things about Sevin Dust on the BYC forums, and not sure A.) At what age to begin using. B.) to use on them directly, or only in their coop, or both? C.) How often? D.) If there's a less toxic alternative that is as effective - DE perhaps?. E.) If I should even be using it, or something else on them/their coop in the first place. F.) If the breed of chicken makes any difference with regard to mites, and treating for them. In that the Silkies are more furry than feather-y, wondering if this makes any difference? Yup, I'm new here. We're in Central Texas by the way. Haven't seen a mosquito yet this year, droughts been so bad. Next on the list: Vaccinations. To vaccinate? What for? When? I saw Marek's disease discussed on another thread, but I'm sure that's not the only one. And, where? If you vaccinate, please tell me what you vaccinate for, at what age, and if you go to a veterinarian for vaccs, or DIY. Last, and OT, how do I upload pictures onto a thread? I see the Img button up top, but when I click it, it just inserts (img)(img), was hoping it would give me an upload picture file search or something so I could upload pics of the three (fingers crossed) girlies. Thank you much to anyone who can give a word of advice in advance.