The new batch of chicks should arrive tomorrow. (We won't get into last year when they didn't arrive on Monday, or Tuesday... or Wednesday..... or Thursday..... and my mind just kept seeing them thirsty and starving to death in some Postal Warehouse. They finally had to send another batch.)
This time, instead of getting just one variety, as I did two years ago, or two varieties, as I did last year, I chose a flock of four different breeds: Buff Orpingtons, Araucanas, Barred Rocks, and New Hampshire Reds.
Yesterday I cleaned and disinfected the trough that they spend their first weeks in, tested the heat lamp, filled the trough with wood chips for bedding, and covered the chips with a piece of weed mat to allow them time to figure out that the wood chips are not food. (I'll remove the week mat in a day or two, once they all seem to be eating properly.)
Next I'll fill the two feeders with chick mash and the waterer with a mixture of 1 gallon of water and 3/4 cup of table sugar to give them extra energy to recuperate from their trip across the country in a box. Then I'll wait for the call from my post office.