Well, I'm making progress on building the chicken coop in the pole barn but it is rapidly becoming obvious that it won't be done by the time the babies show up in June. On to plan B: I'm converting my wood shed to a brooder house for the babies and they can actually live there for most of the summer which will take the pressure off for getting the coop finished.
Easy steps for turning the woodshed into a brooder house (1) Remove firewood left over from the winter. (2) Sweep out dirt and sawdust. (3) Hang a couple of heat lamps. (4) Add kiddie pool (Now I know why I saved the old kiddie pool all these years!) (5) Cover bottom of kiddie pool with paper towels (The experts recommend paper towels for bedding rather than pine shavings or straw for tiny babies. As the paper towels become soiled you can continue to put down more layers and when they've outgrown the towels, you can just roll them all up and throw them away in one fell swoop!) (6) Chick water fonts and feeders.
The heat lamps are on adjustable chains and can be moved up and down depending on the ambient temperature and the age of the chicks. As the chicks get older I can get rid of the kiddie pool, put pine shavings on the floor and they can have complete run of the 10 x 10 building.
I built these sliding screen doors out of hardware cloth and 1 x 4's so I can have the doors open for ventilation once the weather warms up.
I built a rather haphazard chicken run out of some leftover fencing for the chicks to go outside when they're old enough. They will outgrow this enclosure, but hopefully by that time I'll have the real coop and chicken run ready to go!