My family and I are going to set up our first backyard coop. We have checked the zoning and we are good to go. I wont be able to work on building the outdoor coop for another 3 weeks until I'm done with finals (One of my research papers is on backyard urban chicken farming!) I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to get the chicks now and start raising them indoors or If I should wait till the outdoor coop is completely finished before we actually get the chicks. Inside I would keep them in my room in a 20gal glass tank with a mesh top that used to be a tank for my leopard gecko. I would get a heat lamp (since my tank only has floor heating) and a water/feeder. Would they stay small enough to live in this tank for aprox 4 weeks or so till I can work on the coop or should I wait? I have heard you should keep them inside/in the brooder cage for the first 8 weeks, is this true? will they be ok in a 20gal tank? Any other tips and advice for starting my flock and building the coop is very welcome! I have Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens and Raising Chickens Right by Laura Childs but hearing advice from people who have done this before is always nice ***We are only getting 4 chicks and I also live in southern California, so though its chilly in the 40s and occasionally in the 30s it never really gets that cold in the winter compared to else where in the U.S. I know its probably better to just wait till the coop is all finished built but I guess we are all just really anxious to get them started!