we were so, so, so excited about becoming chicken parents... but we have killed EVERY SINGLE ONE. i just don't know what to think anymore! here's my history as a chicken killer: we got three chicks from california hatchery (an easter egger, barred rock, and a sussex) in early june. got them set up in the brooder and within 24 hours the EE and the BR died. just laid down and died. i figured they must have been too weak/stressed from the journey (california to florida). they died within 2 hours of each other and it was heart breaking. we had the sussex left and waited 48 hours before adding in three more babies (three golden buffs from meyer hatchery). they all lived happily together for 5 days before i gave them some hard boiled egg yolk and within 30 minutes ALL FOUR DIED. clearly, something was up with the egg. they all had seizures and died in exact size order (smallest to largest). SO SAD. back to square one. we got three 3 week old chicks from the local feed store: barred rock, orp, and a rhode island red. they all lived through their chick hood (finally!!!). then, two weeks ago we left town for two weeks when they were about 2-3 months old and had a family member coming to let them out in the morning and lock them up at night... but we came home to find out a racoon had gotten into the coop and killed them all! :****( back to square one.... again. just two days ago we got three one week old babies from the feed store (barred rock, EE, and black laced wynd.). they've been okay for two days, growing and active, and just now we found the EE dead. she was the biggest one and everyone seemed to be getting along great... but she's dead. i'm very, very suspicious that the BR will not make it through the night. she's acting kinda funny; not very balanced on her feet. so far the wyandotte seems okay, but with our luck there's no way she's going to live. why in the world are we so incompetent at this!?!?! it's so very, very sad. any thoughts?? our coop is a big, big plastic tub. we've been using sand as bedding (but, with this batch we hadn't even gotten to the sand yet, as it seems like if i put in in too early they eat the sand instead of their food, so i've been keeping them on puppy liners and paper towels for a few days), they are on medicated feed and nothing else (no treats after the egg incident), and plain water (nothing added). we use the brinsea eco glow for heat, which doesn't seem like a problem, as they go in and out at will to regulate their temp. what else could or should i be doing??? i'm fairly certain we are going to be chickless again in a day. so we start over AGAIN? am i missing something??? do we throw in the towel and give up? do we just get full grow chickens and forget about trying to hand raise them ourselves? how is this so hard??????