Love this forum....long time lurker, first time poster! I have a few questions about our newest family members. I'm hoping someone will be so kind as to offer up some knowledge to me! 12 happy and healthy baby chicks arrived this morning and are settling into their new home. They all made it just fine and seem to be doing well. The brooder we made is 4ftx4ft and wayyyyyy too big for them right now so we walled off half of it until they are bigger. They seem quite content with their little home. I cleaned off their behinds and dipped their beaks in water when they arrived, got them warmed up and let them be. They found their water and food rather easily. They were a bit sluggish at first but once they got water and food, they perked up a lot! I took the chicks out tonight and examined them again since I didn't have a lot of time this morning. None seem to be spraddle-legged at all. A few have a bit wider stance then the others but what I've seen from pictures, spraddled is more of a severe condition that results in legs going the opposite direction. Could someone clarify for me just how wide they need to be apart before they are considered a problem? They all seem to be walking just fine. Also, I noticed when I was cleaning the vents that a few have 'strings' hanging below their vent. As well, there is a black spot with what I would call a scab on all of them. I am assuming, from my research, that the string is what is left of the umbilical cord. It said not to pull it and leave it alone and it will come off on it's own. Is that correct? As for the black spots, some chicks have a very small one...others it is much more pronounced with a large scab. Do we leave it alone or is there a point where it is big enough or looks a certain way that we need to do something about it? Also, I noticed tonight that when the chicks sleep, most of them tend to huddle together....but they are off to the side of the red heat lamp...not under it. As well, the thermometer says that it's 95 degrees and I double checked it with another one to see if it was reading wrong. So I can't see why they would be cold but the only other reason I can see for them doing that is for security and the fact that they were in a box together for two days. Any ideas? By the way...they -love- their pretty thermometer. They keep knocking it down to peck at it. Must be because it's shiny. =-) Thanks in advance for all your help!