has anyone tried those bcc contraptions sold at lowes?
I've used one, and they do work. However, they aren't necessary, and it looks nicer without them IMHO. If I were you, I'd save my money and do things the old-fashioned way. The chickens are easier to position with them, so if that's important to you, then by all means get one.
Sorry, can't help you much on the cheese. I'm sure someone else on the board can probably give you more info than I can (hey, I'm 18 here! Cut me some slack!).