This is my first attempt at raising chickens, I have always wanted to but never had the opportunity until now. My cousin gave me a hen with 8 little chicks that were 5 days old. He also gave me a rooster. I prepared a coop and took them in. I wanted them to be free range so I looked to BYC for advice, and found that it was best to leave them locked up for a few days till they got used to their new home. Well after 3 days the rooster pecked his way out of a screen on the window and I haven't seen him since although I hear him crowing every morning. On the 4th day I let the hen and chicks out and to my surprise she had them back in the coop at 5pm. I am so happy that I have that hen to teach the little ones, she is so protective and watches over them like a hawk, no pun intended. The chicks are growing like bad weeds, I have them on scratch feed, vegetables(from the treat list only) and whatever they get in the yard during the day. So happy I found BYC for all the good advice, thank you !!!