I got my very first batch of baby chickens on Friday, February 24th. I went and hand picked them from my local Orscheln store. I ended up with 6 Barred Plymouth Rock Pullets, 3 Rhode Island Red Pullets, and 3 Rhode Island Reds out of a bin marked "Fry Pan Special". (I will say we are fairly certain they are Rhode Island Reds, they could be Production Reds. Also my Barred Rocks may or may not all be Pullets, only time will tell.) They are growing like weeds, and seem very happy and healthy. We had a little issue with poo getting stuck to their little feathers around their vents. I don't think it was ever blocking their vents, but never the less, I went ahead and washed it off. I also noticed a bit of Diarhea, but I could never tell which chick it was. But it seems to have cleared up. I am feeding them medicated crumbles. My cheap-o thermometer bit it about one hour into my chicken raising adventure, so I am montitoring their temperature based solely on observation, but they seem fine. They move in and out of the warm zone freely. When I notice them shy-ing away from it (say like, today, when its 72 degrees outside and our projected high for today is 80 degrees) I prop it up a bit and aim it away from them, which seems to be working really well. I haven't turned the light off of them at all yet. I change their water a couple of times a day because of food and other unidentifiable things in their water. But I haven't yet noticed any poo in either their water or their food, so it seems that they are doing a good job pooping elsewhere. I did have a few questions: I have them on a grate with pine shavings under it, so they never actually touch the shavings. I am using a feeder and a waterer (the little round ones with about 8 holes that screws on to a standard Mason jar). For the last several days, I fill up the feeder in the morning, and when I get home at night, their feeder is nearly empty and there is a mound of feed under their feeder. Why are they doing this? Are they scratching out the feed? Are they dropping the feed on accident? Are they actually getting anything to eat? They are able to reach down and eat little bits of it fine, but its right where they are pooping to, and I don't want it to make them sick. Is there anything I can be doing different to prohibit this? At what point can I introduce treats? And Grit? Can I feed them flavored yogurt or must it be plain? Any other tidbits of info that through out your chicken keeping careers you have found usefull or necessary? Also is Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens the best book? Or are there others you would recommend ahead of that? Thank you all for all the help!!! Here are some pics from last weekend!