I am now retired form active military service for two years as of this coming July. I decided, since my retirement, to try my hand at homesteading and raising my family as organically as would like to raise my farm animals. I currently am housing 49 (was 50 day old poults but one died by the following morning) plymouth barred rock chicks in my livingroom which I picked up from the farm supply store on the 31st of June. I have build a crude brooder with scrap found in my delapitated barn and placed the birds under a heat-lamp and provide, daily shavings, blackstrap molasses water and organic chick starter. The PBRs are now about two weeks old and seem to be thriving. I have just added a small roost since they seem set on roosting on the heat-lamp wire and on top of the feeder. Yesterday was the first day that I decided to toss the birds a treat of a sliced open tomato and they loved it. I am also catching any living insects about the house (horn tailed wasps, flies, beetles) at hold them in to the young birds to have them stap it out of my fingers and run around the brooder. They now almost expect me to hand them something everytime I reach my hand in to them. My second youngest, a four year old boy, loves to feed the insect treats to the birds. It also helps get rid of unwanted pests from the house. I am in process of building an 'fresh-air poultry house' (Dr. Woods design) which, as of today, has shingled roofs, and typar wraped walls. I am building windows, three windows for the sides, two oposit the door and one beside the door along with the four monitor top windows, which will be installed next along with the door. I will be using 1/4 inch hardware cloth accross the permanently open front and behind every window. I have put steel under the flooring to deter farel minks and the outside walls with have the same. We will be free-ranging the birds during the day in our 3 acre hay field and bring them in for the night to protect from predators. All of the animals on our homestead will be pastured and raised as organically as possible.