Not sure how I got here, but here I am. Like any project I undertake I read and read to learn as much as I can before getting going. I see too many catastrophes from people that jump in without looking. So I've been reading numerous websites, forums, faqs, etc, making my plan to fit my needs. While I appreciate being pointed to a particular post when I ask a question, I don't welcome those posts where someone says, "why don't you try reading the forums." Believe me, I've had enough of these sustaining projects and visited many sites where the people were very much less than helpful. So far, your site here looks very helpful and supportive and I appreciate that. So here's my plan. I want enough eggs for my family(4.5 people... can explain that later), and I want to raise meat chickens quarterly. I have breeds in mind, but still need further information about them to see if they really are the right choice. Some of the questions I still have may very well modify my initial choices. For my laying hens I was going to get 3 or 4 Pearl-white leghorns. The literature I read indicated that I could get 900+ eggs from just three of them. The eggs I don't need will go to my parents and in-laws. For my meat birds I was planning on Cornish X Rock hybrids. The reason I posted this introduction here is most of my concerns and questions about about these birds. The general information I found about raising chicks indicated that they would be in a brooding box for the first 60 days of their lives.... 8 weeks. However, Cornish Xs are generally harvested starting at about this time. In going over all the posts here it seems like these chicks can leave the brooder box WAY before 60 days. Many of the chicks I see already in a tractor don't even seem to have complete plumage so I was wondering what exact criteria you use to determine when these chicks are ready to go outside. The second question I had about these chickens is temperature. One day old chicks should be held at 95-100 or so it seems, and the temp lowered 5 degrees every week until you hit 70. There's no way here in Arkansas I 'm going to get a brooder box to 70 degrees without air conditioning it, so that information seems off somehow. Besides that, the comment above seems to preclude you keeping them in a brooder that long anyway. So, my question is, as long as you keep them from getting chilled, is the scaled temperature really necessary. It's 95+ here today with a heat index of over 105. I see that Cornish X birds are "hot" metabolically. What's TOO hot for them. I see posts where birds aren't eating because of the heat. I plan on tractoring my birds and do have some shady places I can do this, but I don't think I can easily supply them with any method to cool down(like a fan). On a similar note when I do get my chicks I plan on keeping them in a permanent brooding box I'm going to build and it will have a light and holes for ventilation as well as being able to be left open with a screened top. As hot as it is outside I worry more about them being too hot. It will get down into the upper 70s, lower 80s at night, so I know I'll have to have a light there, and maybe this can be worked out by keeping the light on a timer or themostat. Ideas? Warnings? Ok, sorry it's so long, and I imagine that's not all of it anyway. As far as suggestions go I guess the only thing to keep in mind is that at this point I'm not interested in what's cheapest, though I am a big DIYer. I'm not made of money, but it's just not one of my top concerns right now. My main concerns are keeping my chickens alive, healthy, and to get the most out of them for my effort. Thanks very much for your time.