I'm going to have to incorporate something like this in the spring when I get my 30 chicks. I have 7 old hens right now who would live in one half of the coop, and the chicks would have the other half. When they're about 3 weeks old, I can figure out how to make a chick door (or two or three) between the two groups. I've always waited until they were at least 6 weeks or so to give them a size advantage anyway. I thought the hens would immediately kill the babies. Huh - I learned something today - that makes it worth getting up in the morning! @azygous - I'm interested in your heating pad brooder. Do you use just a regular heating pad like you'd find at the drug store and leave it plugged in all the time? For some reason, I'm more nervous about doing that than leaving heat lamps plugged in 24/7. But I like the idea of it. It seems like they'd be warmer that way - being able to snuggle down onto a warm spot than under a lamp. Hmm, something else to look into. And you have it so they can come and go from the heat as they want, right? OK, I just looked at your pictures a little more closely and can't tell if they go under the heating pad, or can sit on top of it. Would you please explain how your set up works? Thanks!