Okay, forgive me (and maybe direct me?) if I totally missed a magical place where all these questions were answered, but I have been looking around, and googling, and reading, and.. I still have lots of questions. I am totally new to chicken having and will be picking ours up next week, I hope Monday, as long as I feel like everything is figured out! So, in no particular order: (1) Does anything sound wrong with this? Our chicks will be starting out in our spare bathtub, lined with newspaper with straw on top. We have a 2 gallon water thingy and 2 gallon feed thingy. (I realize this is overkill for the bathtub, but it's what we're planning on moving outside with them...) 1 250watt red heat bulb with metal shield thingy. I had been told straw was better because the chicks won't eat it, but is it a bigger fire hazard than pine shavings? Also, pine shavings is something, though I know are commonly used, I have never used for small mammals because it is known to cause health issues, is this true for chicks as well? The door shuts securely to keep out the 4 cats who are about to start hating me. (2) We will be picking up 6 chicks of a variety of breeds from TSC... should I be expecting to lose one / more? Entertaining the possibility of losing one / more? I have a just-turned-3 year old daughter who is, of course, going to be crushed no matter how much I try to prepare her for that eventuality, but I just want to have some idea, how often do your feed store chicks die? (3) Brood light... Everything I find says to start moving it up about an inch a week, but nothing I have found says anything about how far up it should start off... is there a general height to start around, or do I really just need to get a thermometer and start guessing? Do I start moving it up one inch after the first week, or two weeks? Is the 250watt bulb wrong? It's the only ones TSC had as far as I know, but I have read other people using a 100watt bulb? (4) This may sound really stupid, and I should have asked while I was there I guess, but I only just thought of it, should I be bringing a box or something with me to bring the chicks home in, or do feed stores generally hand them out like pet stores? (5) Is there anything I need worry about concerning chicks and small children, as far as the children are concerned? I have a 3 y/o and a 7 month old. Obviously I know I need to help them with handling / touching, but is there anything of concern on the child end of things? I know they haven't got salmonella but is there something I should be concerned about? (6) Bringing them home - It's only about a 10 minute drive, is there anything I need be concerned about other than keeping the car reasonably warm? (7) Cats and chickens. I am, of course, going to keep them away from the little chicks, but when to I get to stop worrying over the cats and chicks? I want to start bringing them out for some play time when things get warmer (I live on the west "coast" of Michigan and I am still buried under snow,) but I am afraid of leaving them unattended.. the smallest of my cats (5 pounds) brings in rabbits bigger than she is.. is she ever going to give up on trying to eat the chickens when they will be something totally new to her? (8) Feed - Everywhere I read says something completely different on when to feed what to the chicks / chickens! I am now completely lost! Any guidance in this area would be much appreciated. (9) Fly how high? I've reads lots of things that say the chicks start flying anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 weeks, but how high are we talking about? The tub we'll be using is about 13 inches deep, not high enough? The door opens in otherwise I wouldn't really be concerned about them escaping the tub, but I wouldn't want anyone to get squarshed especially knowing that the 3 y/o will want to be in and out of there constantly. (10) Scratching - I've read that the chicks should start getting to scratch at real dirt by the time they are a week old, but (!) ain't no way, we're totally still going to be buried in snow and freezing cold by then. What to do? (11) Is there anything I am not worried about yet that I should be worried about?