The chicks are due on March 13th!! They will be Devi, Diana, Freya and Bob.
For their first few days they will live in a large Sterlite container in my daughter's bedroom, with lights, water and food. She needs to bond with them, so that they will look to her as "Mom" and follow her about. It makes them easier to catch, and more friendly to people. When it starts to smell like a barn in her bedroom (2-3 days), they will move to the garage.
We are constructing an indoor enclosure for their first few weeks, so construction needs to be sped up a little. So far, we've taken an old pallet and covered it with vinyl flooring. Now we are making a fence to nail to the pallet, that will hold up the poultry netting, to keep the little girls inside. Within the fenced in pallet will be a kiddie pool filled with bedding, where they will live their lives for a few weeks. The pool is key to making it easier to clean. When it starts getting a little stinky, my daughter will take the pool and dump it on my garden, fill it with more clean bedding and place it back inside the fence. Above all this there will be a light for heat, suspended on a crossbar, so that it can be raised as the girls' heat needs decline.
When the girls no longer need heat and they are a little too big to be snake food, they will go outside in the covered, enclosed and fenced run to scratch to their heart's content. Because they do not have a mom chicken to defend them, they need the
protection of the fence, adult chickens will often kill young that are
not their own. Athena and Ursula, the big girls, will be within the big fenced area and we'll put up some tarps for shade. They will be able to see the little girls, but not be able to touch them. They need to get to know each other for a while and when the little ones start getting close to full sized chickens, we can let them out to scratch in the whole fenced area. We hope the transition will be smooth for them as they join the big girls.
Less than two weeks to baby pictures!!