Hello, I'm a newbie to this group and to the world of raising chickens. I live in the city and am visiting here an hour away at my mom's to raise some chickens! In fact, they are actually my mom's chickens (26 chics, 8 ducks and a goose). They are all about the same age. 6 of the ducklings are Pekins and we will be "graduating" them (I hate the word "slaughter"). I am an animal lover. It wasn't long ago when I couldn't even kill a fish because I didn't want to cause any harm. I've changed my mind about that. I would rather KNOW that the animal had a good life and ate properly and was a HEALTHY animal. I would rather eat an animal I KNOW, than one I didn't. What changed my mind was the graduation method my mom learned at a nearby poultry farm. They use the cone and then just bleed them out. I prefer this to chopping off their heads. It seems like it's less messy and chaotic than just chopping off their heads......but that's just how I see it. ANYWAY..... the care of these birds has fallen into my hands for the time being. We got them a week ago. My mom's husband built a brooder that seems to me to be a little too short at about 15 inches high. It has a hinged lid, but the problem I see is they will be outgrowing this very quickly. I can clip their wings, however, I still have this dreaded feeling we are in a little over our heads. The "chickshaw" hasn't been built yet.........that's the mobile chicken coop. They will have an electrified fence when they are ready......but......WHEN IS THAT? My concern is that we have no real place to put them outside yet. My mom's husband is of the thinking he has 8 weeks to build the chickshaw....I'm thinking he has 3 1/2 weeks. Those chickens are GROWING!!!! ...........FAST!!!! My main concern is that brooder is not tall enough, because when I'm down at one end cleaning, they can just jump out at the other end. It's a really nice brooder with that ONE exception........the height. It was designed with handles and no bottom so we can take it outside and put it directly on the grass on nice days. So.....my questions for now are this......#1 If we extend the sides of the brooder to be taller, can this be their home until they are ready to move into their chickasaw and live outside permanently....... and #2 Is 5 weeks too early to live outside permanently in Colorado in May. It can get pretty cold still at night here. In my mind I keep going over that brooder. Right now it's the perfect height to reach in and grab them and put them in a box and then move the brooder outside and then put the chickens in and then close the lid. I'm concerned that it will be too difficult to move the brooder around and catch all the critters if the walls are any higher..........can you see my dilemma? Can anyone answer my questions and maybe steer me in the right direction? Maybe I can get some steps and put them in it for me to climb INSIDE and clean it and catch chickens........just a thought......So, hope I didn't ramble too long. I just need some support. I realized tonight how disorganized the chicken plan actually is. I'm the only one who has the time and energy to sort it all out. I sit in that garage and baby those birds.....petting them and getting them used to being touched so it's not a terrifying experience for them when graduation day comes......I've been going on my instinctual knowledge of birds so far, but......I need support. So, please chime in with ideas and suggestions if you have any! I'm here to learn! Thank you!