I'm not sure where to put this post. If this is not the proper spot I apologize. We recently acquired our first baby chicks. We've had adults and I have several parrot breeds so I am not a complete bird moron but I am chick clueless. For that reason (and I need less than 10 chickens) we bought from a farm. The man seemed to have a great deal of knowledge about the breed I was interested in and in raising chickens in general. He had a beautiful coop, everything was clean, birds were friendly, he made me a brooder because I didn't have one and had lots of questions about doing it properly, he was going to sex my chicks for me...and on and on it goes. We missed and exit on the way home and so our trip ended up being about 3 1/2 hours. 6 2 week old Chicks in a closed transport box. Got home, immediately set up the brooder, chick starter, water etc. brooder is in a bathroom with the a/c vent closed and well away from the brooder to prevent drafts. I am a nervous mommy so I got up all during the night to check on them. Things that went wrong: I had to add another light AND put a heating pad UNDER one half of the brooder he made to get the temp right. I did this within the first half an hour and continued to monitor the temp to make sure I had not gone overkill and gotten it too hot. But the short is that the brooder was not adequate. That I noticed one of the chicks sneezing. I read forums, could be environmental, quarantine and watch closely. Next day more sneezing chicks. First chick has nasal discharge, called the vet, began antibiotic therapy. Called the breeder to inform him, he asks "is it just a cold?" ARE U KIDDING ME? Oh, and lets talk about the "sexing" of the chicks...They all have black wing feathers. ALL of them. I don't know if he bred from hatchery stock so I will have black tips on my hens or if everyone of them is a roo. Then to top it off, the one chick that I had that had never sneezed nor developed a runny nose was dead in the brooder yesterday afternoon. He was sleeping, no labored breathing, not huddled under the lamp as if freezing. We had dispensed with quarantine as everyone else was symptomatic and it was purely pointless. I am usually very adept at telling if one of my birds is "off" but these guys are so new to me maybe I just missed something. I am just so frustrated right now. I have brought my exotics through yeast infections and pneumonia, through liver disease and injury, horses through founder, dogs through cancer and I am flat failing these baby chicks who are 100% times hardier at this age than my psittacines are as adults. I know that nothing incubates in 24 hours and that my chicks were ill when I picked them up. This guy just seems clueless. His chickens will likely always carry respiratory illnesses and he is selling to the public and encouraging them to breed these chickens every year and a half to "replenish their stock". I'm not sure if I need to sacrifice a chick to necropsy to see if it's something that needs to be reported? I am scared to death of my parrots getting ill. I am torn between culling this flock and trying to save them (I'm not a breeder). Right now I wish I didn't know what a chicken was! Words of encouragement are appreciated.