Today we're picking up our chicks, after my 3yr old comes home from preschool and I admit that I am nervous but excited! We finally live in a place where we could even consider chickens (moved from apartment to house a few months back only 5 minutes away) and a friend is giving us her unused coop tomorrow. I did some researching online but things are finally becoming real! I just end up seeing so many random "my chick suddenly died without reasom" posts across the 'net and I want to make sure my little gals don't up the same way. We are getting 2 Rhode Island Red and 2 Barred Rock to add to our family! Husband doesn't want more than 4 or 5... for now. By the way, what's the best material to put over the top of their makeshift home while they're still chicks? We have a cat and dog, and while I don't worry about the dog (he's a gently herding Welsh Corgi) that we have trained for service purposes, of course the cat may see them as a meal while they're still young. I want them safe while either of us is at work in case it gets knocked over or something... and in general want the other pets at a safe distance when we're busy.