Hi everyone! I've been a member for almost a year now - I don't often post but read daily. I've got 11 laying hens - seven RIR's, 3 Australorps, and one Welsummer - believe it or not, all have laid nearly daily all winter until the last week, when one of the Australorps went broody. We're in the Nashville, TN area and have had a mild winter - we also give extra light in their coop, no doubt that has kept their laying up. I've been looking at ordering from a hatchery in the last few weeks, then found someone locally who had the chicks I wanted. I was told that the Ameraucana chicks we were going to buy were five weeks old, and the Welsummers were six weeks. We were very happy with that and drove over an hour to pick them up the next day. I was disappointed to see that the Ameraucana chicks were no where near five weeks old - they appeared to me to be around two weeks old based on their (lack of) feathering, but she insisted they were hatched on December 7. The Welsummers looked to be about four weeks old. We debated....I really didn't feel like brooding chicks in the house this spring, and we'd built a coop that would be perfect to put five week old chicks in outside. But they were what I'd been looking for, and the price was right, so we went ahead and bought ten Ameraucanas and four Welsummers (one Wellie Roo), and she went ahead and threw in an Ameraucana Roo as well - so I came home with 15 chicks. I couldn't put them outside - I was fearful that they wouldn't be warm enough. So we set up a good sized brooding area in a spare bedroom, and I've had them in for a week. The Wellies are nearly fully feathered now, and the Ameraucanas are coming along - a few featherless patches under the wings, but they're growing - not fully feathered though. This morning I went out and threw a heat light in their coop-to-be and put a wireless temp gauge about a foot out from the center of the light on the ground. It was very quickly registering 80+ degrees. So I threw in some extra straw and mounded it up a little around the edges and turned them out. The coop is completely out of the wind, and up against the house. It's built under our deck and very well protected. I've closed off the door so they can't go out in the run. I have a second heat light I can put in there if it's needed. We've got decent weather on the horizon, upper 50's for the most part, with low to mid 30's at night for the next week or so. With 15 chicks who are close to feathered, in a snug coop with lots of straw, and heat lamps....think they'll be ok out there? My husband is certain they'll be fine, but I can't help but worry a little. It's going to be around 60 today so they'll be fine in there with heat on, and I can bring them back in if needed. I really wish they'd been the age we were told they were going to be....sigh.