A snake ate all three of my chicks last night. I feel just awful about it. It was my job to protect them and instead, I left them with no way of escape and easy prey for a snake.
My original plan when I started the incubation was to keep them in the house after they hatched. Our house is a long ranch style (or rambler as some people call it) that has one end that can be closed off if unused. We usually keep the door closed and the A/C off at that end of the house. With the A/C off, the temperature would have been right for the chicks and they would be safe from all predators.
But, we had a guest arrive and have had to keep the A/C on for him, which makes it too cold for the chicks, so I had to adjust my plans. The garage is just way too hot during the day, but the chicken coop stays at a pretty even temperature since it's in the shade. That's why I chose the coop, knowing that there was a possibility of a snake getting in there, but feeling I had no choice.
So a month of fretting over regulating the incubator temperature and turning eggs three times a day was all for nought. The last four have not hatched. I'll have to start all over again.