I'm expecting seven newbies from Meyer tomorrow, and am in the process of sterilizing one of my redneck Walmart Sterlite tote brooders so I can set it up for them. I thought about putting them in with my four Speckled Sussex, but those guys/gals (I suspect at least one is a cockerel, who will be promoted to Flock Roo if this is the case) are hyperactive as heck at two and three weeks, so they'd be far too much for tiny babies. I have a 250W heat lamp that hangs from a convenient bar in the garage, and it's more than up to the task of heating the noobs and the SS. At any rate, I got to thinking about what I've learned in the seven short weeks I've been raising the Gang of Fourteen, which is my very first batch of chicks. - Originally, I had ordered the Gang of Fifteen. However, one of the BLRWs didn't do well in shipping, and ended up needing to be culled within an hour or so of arrival, as it was evident that she was very ill and wasn't going to make it. Sadly, I had to learn right off the bat that I am capable of culling a tiny baby chick. Not a lesson I wanted to learn so soon, but life happens. - The babies aren't going to drop dead instantly if the brooder isn't exactly 95/90/85/official temperature of the week. - The babies who look dead while sleeping are just out cold. - I can indeed handle baby chicks without dropping or squashing or otherwise somehow breaking them. - I can clean pasty butt as well as the next rookie chicken wrangler. My most persistent pasty butt case is now a fat, feathery Salmon Faverolle pullet who is none the worse for wear except for the tendency to eye me like I'm going to grab her and manhandle her (womanhandle?) in the sink at any moment. Can't say that I blame her, really... - Baby chicks will survive the night without me looking in at them every half-hour to make sure they're still alive. - Chicks like treats. A lot. Treats convert the Giant, Scary Hand into the Food Goddess who is to be greeted with enthusiasm. - NOBODY around here seems to stock chick grit regularly. Grr... - BYC is the Font of All Chicken Knowledge. I've lost count of the number of times I've searched the forum for answers to a question and found just what I needed to know. - Chickens are addictive! I mentioned that I want a small incubator. DH sort of looked at me and said, "can we get everybody grown out first?" I didn't say no - but I didn't exactly say yes, either. So, fellow rookies, what have you learned?