Hi all, I am from Northeast Texas just north of Tyler. I moved up here just a year and a half ago. Very different from far south Texas or even central Texas that I have spent most of my life in. We have raised a few chickens in the past but are starting over with our second flock up here. The first ones did not last long before the predators got them. My fault. Not secure enough. We have six mixed breed chicks about 3 months old. We don't even know if they are all hens yet. I think one is a rooster. Yes, they are in a more secure enclosure, I hope. I am going to use the deep litter method and am mostly using the leaves that are all over the place for their litter. We do throw some scraps in the pen occasionally but they have not seemed too interested just yet. I add leaves occasionally so the chicks will have something to scratch/play in as well as adding some soil and wood chips for them to search for anything that might be interesting. The material will be used for our garden beds in the spring. I cannot totally free range them because of the dogs, coyotes, coons in the area and hawks. I am going to build them an enclosed run and later even a chicken tractor. I have begun a treadle feeder but have not finished because of time. I will put up three nest boxes when I get back from Florida next week. I am always looking for more information and will scour this site as questions come up.