Our first batch of chicks is due in two weeks, and we've been planning to brood them in a 44" x 40" brooder that my Dad built. We thought a corner of the dining room would be the best place to put them for their first few weeks, but we'd like to know if there are any health hazards to us (or the birds). I've heard (the fumes of?) the non-stick coating used on some cookware isn't all that great for pet birds how do chickens do with it? Oh and I read somewhere that it's best to use newspapers covered with paper towels for the first few days, so they have time to learn what their food is. How long before we should start using litter? I'd also love to know what you more seasoned chick raisers like to use for litter. Wood shavings? Ground corn cobs? Rice? What are the pros and cons of each? Thanks for your help! You can probably tell we're novices!