I'm still hoping to find someone who will raise a few chicks for me along with her own, but in case I can't I have a few questions. Where in an ordinary, suburban ranch house do you put a brooder? We've got no basement and no garage -- just a carport, an unenclosed back porch, and an unheated shed which has electricity but very poor ventilation. We are bursting full of kids, teens, and cats and do not want odor and dust inside on top of everything else. How big a brooder is required for 4-8 chicks? I'm thinking that, just like the plants I start, it would be a good idea to get more than I want in case some don't make it. How long before they no longer need to be in the brooder with the heat lamp and can be in the tractor with no supplemental heat? Are there any issues involved in brooding mixed heavy breeds rather than all the same kind? In a perfect world I'd try Australorps, Delawares, and Light or Dark Brahmas to see what suited us best though I have no idea what sort of chicks I could get.