I do NOT have chicks right now, so this is NO rush. Please don't feel obligated to dash off an immediate and detailed response! That said, I'm a research fiend, and this is one area I'm exploring... (In addition to breeds, feeds, local resources, coop design, our yards possibilities, etc. but I'll ask those later and in the right places!) I'm thinking that I'd be better off getting chicks, rather than eggs... rather than pullets... Eggs- You can only have 4 hens where I live. Most places require you order more than that (and there's ALWAYS the risk of roos) While hatch rate is rarely 100% if I did end up hatching more than 4 (IE if I ordered 10 and hit more than 40% -Murphy's Law does hit at the oddest times- then I'd be in a pickle. And I'd have the hurting of not hatching all, for me and my kiddos too. Pullets- Don't know you from the get go. With babies you can tame them, so to speak, and have them used to you and your family (including dogs) from the beginning. As opposed to pullets who would be used to other people, and perhaps no other animal smells/sounds but other chickies which could be very stressful for them. Transitions are hard enough no? Not to mention missing out on the cute chicky phase, which I think both (but esp. my girl age 7) would enjoy. And, since I've not been around chickens for many moons (no plans to say exactly how many) and my hubby/kids have never been around them I think that starting with chicks would make things easier, rather than just plunking down unknowledgeable humans with scared -thanks to a move- hens. Of course, with pullets, they are closer to laying and past some of the scary parts of babyhood. Less risk of losing one, which would hurt. Overall, I figure my best bet would be to get young chickies locally, so no 5 minimum, and I can pick healthy peepers? Feed store or Breeder or ??? geez I donno. Unless there's a local breeder that sells humanized and dog-hearty (no I don't know where these adjectives come from) hens I just don't know? So, first question... Does this make sense or am I a nut? After that the questions are sort of in aging order... 2nd question... how much space is needed per chickie in a brooder? a) how high should a brooder roost be, minimum/maximum? b) organic chick feed, check... also grit? c) if I used a tote (I've got tons of clear ones!) that was 18" high and had the lamp clipped to the top, what wattage would you recommend? d) lamp clipped to the center of the brooder or to the side? 3rd... how long in that space? AKA at what age do they need more space? At ___ weeks they need ___ space per chickie? (like they say that hens need 10sq ft per in run or 4 sq ft in coop per... is there a formula for chicks at __ age?) So for four chickies ____ x ____ x ____ is great! b) how high should a -second stage- roost be? 4th DIET! Organic Chick Feed available 24/7 and of course fresh water... even if changing 12 times a day due to sneaky chickie contamination... a) At what point does their diet change from chick feed to layer feed? ___ weeks? b) At what age do you start adding calcium to the available nibbles? c) At what age are random nibbles (carrot peels for instance) safe? -Obviously not a question of teething, so much as a question of tummies and development- Fully feathered they can hit the coop? I'm sure you're already thinking I'm a nut, but I hate seeing hurting, much less being responsible for it. And to add hurting my kiddos on top of it... well I'd rather just try my level best and beyond to prevent it. Hence all the (probably asinine) questions. I do very much appreciate any and all words of wisdom and the patience required to answer my noobie questions. Oh, and I LOVE this website. It's brilliant! So much wisdom, and just... wow. Can say that ANY other site I found via google has come close to touching a drop in the bucket of the information I've found on here... so just thanks for that right there! And I love the smilies.