My coop is not built yet. I finally have the concrete tubes in the ground and the inspector is coming out today. I have a pretty decent sized brooder (6' x 3.5') in my basement and it is divided in half for my 2 different age groups of chicks. On one side, I have my 10-week old Quail D'Anver SQ pair (male and female) and other the other side I have my sixteen 5-week old chicks (about 13 different breeds, all females except the 4 straight run Silkies, who will probably be mostly males.) This has worked out well so far, but the 5-week olds are getting bigger now and quickly outgrowing their side. A friend of mine gave me a poultry cage (36" x 30" x 18") and I was thinking about moving the 2 D'Anvers into it and opening up the divider of the brooder so the 10-week olds can use the entire thing. I am not crazy about using the wire bottom of the cage. A plywood board will not fit through the door, so I bought a couple of rubber bath tub mats (the kind that go in the tub with the suction cups on the underside) that I was planning on putting down for the floor and covering with pine shavings. They would be easy to wash off as well when I am cleaning the cage. Do you think this would be okay? Hopefully, once the concrete and floor joists go in, the rest of the coop build will go quickly and I can move my fluffy butts outside. My DH seems to think that they can stay in the basement for the winter. It's 70-75 degrees down there all year around. I just don't know if the brooder will be big enough for sixteen chickens through the winter, as much as I would like to keep them indoors and protected. I would also like to separate the Silkies from the rest, and hopefully breeding them eventually. At what age do the hormones kick in? Will I need to separate the D'Anver pair? Will the male Silkies be okay with the rest of the flock? I'm guessing that there are at least 2 males (white) out of the 4 based on personality (dominant, challenging everyone, etc.) The other 2 Silkies (blue) are smaller and much more shy. Appreciate your thoughts as always!!