We've talked about raising chickens and done a *little* reading on it. Then my husband brought home 16 chicks today!!! Darn farm store!! he got 6 Rhode Island Reds and 10 Rock Hens. We want some chickens for meat and some to lay eggs. I don't know how old they are. The RIR's have quite a few feathers on their wings and tails. The Rock hens are barely starting to show feathers on their wings. Here's the questions---- hubby is building a box for them. He's put in a grated floor that we'll put shavings on. He was going to put a solid lid on top but I was reading somewhere on here that they need a lot of oxygen. Is the grated floor going to be enough ventilation?? Or should he put a mesh lid on it? If the mesh lid, do we need something more than the heat lamp to keep them warm? We still have a ton of snow on the ground so it's still cold here in Idaho!! Should we separate the two breeds? They seem to be doing fine together in the big Rubbermaid container they're waiting in. How do I know how old they are so I can adjust the heat appropriately? Or do I need to just watch them to see how they're acting to know if they need more or less heat? When do I need to put in a roost? I'm sure I'll have plenty of other questions this week as we begin our new adventure. The kids are so excited abut it!! Hehehehehe Just wait until I tell them to clean the coop!! I'll bet they won't be so excited for that!!