Sunday, a friend came over and helped me with the last of the hardware cloth and tarp. I am using a 14 x 12 food tarp and decided having a tarp that doesn't come all the way down on the one side would be good for airflow. Plus, the side that isn't completely covered is next to the fence so that mind help keep most rain out (like rain with wind). For the front, I'm considering adding a clear plastic roofing panel that would overhand a bit to keep rain out and to act like a skylight to allow more sunlight. Right now, the goal is just get it safe to leave the chicks out of the brooder. For the past two nights they slept in their brooder with a hardware cloth lid over them with the brooder in the hoop coop!
I was going to use wood chips and try deep litter for the first time but after using wood chips in the brooder I have decided to use sand. I'm in FL, it's hot and humid, and I think the deep litter will just be too wet and smell. I'd still like to try it one day but I'm not on a farm, they are in a yard, and I want to control odor as much a possible. I am lovin it so much both mornings I woke 45 min before my alarm to go check on them!