Good morning! The chicks have arrived! We ordered from Murray McMurray and only lost 2 tiny bantams during shipping (they refunded promptly) and 2 more within 2 days from what looked like simply failure to thrive. We've had so much fun watching them grow and learning their personalities. The remaining 26 are doing fabulously well and I am amazed at how well the chicks represent their respective breeds: I couldn't be happier with our box o' assorted chicks Progress on the coop has gone really well. Today we plan to put in the uprights for the exterior run posts and attach the PVC pipe for hoops across the top. Just took the top off! A large produce bin makes a perfect brooder! The water looks odd because I made my own restorative solution: 2 tablespoons raw cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses, 1/2 cup sugar and 3 cloves garlic, crushed in one gallon of water. Within an hour or two they were all zooming around like crazy! Babs the Mottled Houdan (left) and our crazy chick Bellatrix, an Amerucauna/EE. She came out of the box slightly deranged and for several days targeted the eyes and feet of our other chicks. After putting her in solitary for a couple days and correcting her whenever she did it, I'm happy to say she's pretty much been reformed..though she still is a bit nuts! Belgian D'Uccle Mille Fleur (top) and Golden Penciled Hamburg, Lucy. Lucy had a pal Ethel, a Silver Spangled Hamburg, but she was one of the 2 chicks we lost. Not sure if the MF is a pullet or a cockerel, as I had to order them straight run. Whatever it is, it's staying no matter what, since the 2 that died during shipping were the other MFs I ordered. Blue Laced Red Wyandottes: we ordered 4, and they all are extremely active, fat and cuddly chicks! Alice, the SLW enjoys a peck at some sod. Laverne the BO and Shirley the BPR My daughter holds her Columbian Wyandotte, Caroline Me and Mini-Me: Light Brahma standard (left) named Daisy, and bantam Poppy Teeny, the bantam Silver Penciled Rock. His sibling Tiny is even smaller! The two of them are in a box by themselves right now: Tiny doesn't seem to be faring as well as Teeny. It's still quite wobbly after 6 days. Mabel, the Ancona. Ruby, the Partridge Plymouth Rock Coop/nest boxes: this is inside the barn looking through the doorway into the coop. The doors for the hinged nest boxes are leaning along the bottom. I've already started bringing in dried leaves, pine needles, etc for the deep litter. Doorways are wide enough to fit the wheelbarrow through. The space above the nest boxes will be enclosed with chicken wire/mesh as will the roof and top halves of the doors (built but not installed yet). All of the lumber, mdf, plywood and screws are recycled materials from a scrap pile we scavenged, hence the blue boards. You can see in the background that there is still quite a lot more. We really hit the jackpot! It took me several hours to back all of the screws out of the material, but so far we've not had to buy a thing. We've still got 4 weeks to finish before the chicks can go outside. "Whaddaya mean, I can't come in ?!?" Westie Fergus is not used to being excluded!