So, tonight the chicks are going to have to sleep in the dark for the first time since we brought them home.
Not that I'd planned it that way, but the infrared heat lamp bulb I bought when I purchased the chicks decided today was the day to prematurely fizzle out. I'd purchased the bulb specifically because it was rated to last 5,000 hours (guaranteed!) which I figured was more than enough time to heat the chicks to the point they could survive overnight without the added warmth.
The bulb didn't even make it to 15% of its expected lifetime (26days x 24hr/day = 624 hours on), and I'm not about to spend an hour plus $4 on gas to drive the 30 miles back to point of purchase to get a $12 replacement bulb. The chicks will just have to "rough it" for the next week indoors.
I'm not too worried, though. Forecast lows are in the mid-50s for the next week, and shortly after that, they'll be out in the Eglu anyway. They've got almost all their adult feathers already, and the rule of thumb is to lower the temperature of their brooding cage by 5 degrees a week until it gets to 70 degrees and then wean them off the heat lamp addiction.
The room their in is closed to the outside, but open to the interior of the house, so things shouldn't get much colder than 65 anyway.
I just put a night-light in their room tonight so as not to have things too dark, though. Sleep tight, chickies!