First time brooding chicks...arriving tomorrow... Only 7 chicks. I plan to use one of those medium to large rubbermaid storage containers to start with. I have a heat lamp (with the ceramic fixture) and just a 125w bulb to start. I put shavings in (2" or so), then paper towels on top for the first day (or two?). I feel like I'm building kindling for a fire... and it's worse because it's not even a coop involved, but my HOUSE! I will be having my husband secure the lamp with wire/chain (the clamp is kinda a joke...), but what other precautions should I take? I am home 95% of the time, but of course we do leave...and...sleep. (I'm thinking I'll place a new smoke detector near the set-up, just in case the unimaginable happens) Also, first time doing this obviously... should the lamp be focused centrally, or just to one end? If I locate it in the center, there is room for them to move off the the sides where it's slightly cooler. If I place it at one end, one end may be significantly cooler. (A/C on in the house, but only at about 79 degrees) There isn't a lid on it right now, I plan to have my husband cut the center of the lid out and put hardware cloth in place...but do I need to add any small holes on the sides (up high) for...ventilation? And... about how long before the peeps can fly/jump up and out? My husband is leaving for a week (3 days after the peeps arrive), will they be jumping/flying out by 10 days old or so? (EE's, Doms, BR, and BA- all standard sized) Should the lid be priority before he leaves? I know I'm about to learn how messy chicks are in the house... but I don't feel like I have a safe, warm place for them where there future coop will be-- not when they're so tiny! Maybe in about 3 weeks with a little bit more size to them. Last few stupid questions: Can I use a water bottle type waterer for them? (like for hamsters,etc) If I show/teach them that's their water... I have a regular type water container (plastic screw on type), but I know one of the biggest issues will be keeping things dry. I know they grow quickly...how long before I need a larger brooder for 7 chicks? A week, two or three weeks? Play it by ear? (which I'll probably do) I just have no idea what to use for the next size up. Ugh! Thanks in advance!