When the DH talked about getting a few chickens last year I didn't really think anything of it. Just thought it was a passing thought. Then things happened and we ended up having to move in with my mom to take care of her. So I'm back in my childhood home, out in the country setting I love with the family I love and the dogs I love. So, DH starts talking about chickens again. Now we live in the country. I told him that the smokehouse my Daddy built years ago would be perfect for a chicken coop. All we would have to do is make a run. So, about 11 weeks ago we started researching...and 8 weeks ago we got our first 5 chicks, one died the next day...7 weeks ago we got 15 more chicks, all alive and healthy...6 weeks ago we got 7 more chicks, and one of those just died yesterday (got piled on and broke its back)...and then 5 weeks ago we got our last batch of 4 chicks which were already about 3 weeks old, one had to be re-homed, but everyone else is doing well. So I now have 28 chicks and 25 of them have been raised by me & DH since day olds. WOW! The two big things in that was 1) chicken math was already at work b4 I even knew it. We originally only wanted 6 hens but once we started to see all the adorable breeds ended up with 28 chicks! 2) We raised 28 chicks from babies! We only lost 2. Very hard still and I cried still, especially over my little polish I lost yesterday...but we still did it! Now comes the worrisome part. We r going to finish up building a nice enclosed run this weekend. We have to put 2 windows in the coop and their chicken door and we r done and the girlies can go out into their new home. I kow I need to get them out of the basement...but I'm so nervous about them being in the coop by themselves! But, I know that we have done everything possible we can to predator proof both the coop and the run. We have taken every precaution that we possibly can...and I think they will b very safe. I just know I'm gonna worry!! Our bedroom faces the coop & run...but I won't b able to see in the coop because the door is solid. So I have a few ?'s left as we r finishing up the coop. I have the nest boxes done and the roost. The floor in the coop is concrete. We were mthinking of putting down sand first, then a straw and pine shaving mix. Is this ok? Is there a better way? Is there better materials to use? Help me finish my coop so that my girlies will b happy in there new home!