I read that the chicks will imprint on and become attached to the first large thing they see after being born and that would be me. Not sure I believed that, but am now being convinced of it by their behavior, which doesn't bode well for any kind of slaughtering plans we might have. Whenever I go check on them they'll run to me and when I put my hand in there, they want to crowd around and snuggle in my hand.
Meagan's boss, who used to raise birds, said that you have to teach them to eat and drink by tapping with your fingernail on the dishes and making bird sounds. Maybe she said that just so I'd make an idiot of myself, but I have to admit, that's what I've been doing. And it works! When I tapped on the food bowl and made soft clucking sounds, they started pecking at the food. Same thing with the water bowl.
This is their temporary home, in the blue bucket. I originally was going to put them in that rabbit cage and had it all set up. But, I underestimated how tiny they would be and realized that they wouldn't be able to stand on the wire floor because the openings were too big and they could also fit through the sides. I searched high and low for an appropriate box, but Tom regularly burns the boxes and there weren't any. I found this bucket instead which is even better than a box. I put that grate from a dog kennel over it to keep the big chickens out. Then, I thought the big chickens might get rambunctious and knock that off, so I weighted it down with the rabbit cage.
When they get bigger, I'll move them to the cage. For the time being, I'm worried about snakes getting in there and eating them.
There are still four eggs in the incubator with no signs of pips.