After losing our chickens we didn't want to start over again with chicks. We raised our other chickens from 1 week and 5 weeks. Five weeks isn't a bad starting place because they are old enough to go straight into the coop, although maybe not so much when it's in the 20s and low 30s at night. But chicks? Ugh. They stink.
We got our first batch of new chicks Saturday morning. They do nothing but poop and eat. Kinda like a baby with less sleeping. They NEVER stop peeping. It's non-stop until they are like 12 weeks old.
They spent the first night in the laundry room, but by morning the stink was creeping into the house, so they were moved outside to the garage. Right now the weather is mild enough that they can stay there and during the day we bring the cage out into the grass.
We got them off craigslist.com and they were called "dark brahma". Which would have been wonderful. Brahmas are one of the largest and a very sweet breed of chicken. Dark Brahma's are beautiful. We had to buy them straight run, which means male and female alike. It's really hard/nearly impossible to tell rooster from pullet at this stage. We got 15. Maybe 4-5 are actually Dark Brahmas or at least partially, thankfully they appear to hopefully be pullets.
The rest of the chicks are a big stinky mystery. They appear to be either Jersey Giants, Black Australorps a mix of the two and some mutts. Hopefully they will just lay some eggs in June!