Friday, April 22, 2011

Chicks in the mail

The phone rang at 7:04 am yesterday and I just knew who was on the other end. "Hello, this is the Post Office, we have a box of baby chicks here for you".  My heart and mind started racing.  I was still in my pajamas and wasn't sure what to do first.  I don't have the brooder box completely set up, I have to get dressed, brush my teeth, do I drive or walk 1/2  a block to pick them up... Ironically I felt like a chicken with my head cut off and like an expectant mother.  So first things first.  29 degrees on a late April morning dictated that I started the car to warm it up (Mother Nature hasn't been listening).  Than I got dressed, brushed my hair and teeth and got the light all set up over the brooder box.  Then I drove around the block to the back door of the Post Office.  I rang the buzzer.............and then rang it again...and then my mailman walked out and I said "I want my chicks".  He said  that there is a box in there making lots of noise.  I took my cheeping box and headed home.  Took the box to the basement......

I opened it up to find everyone alive! 5 of them were very groggy (and those 5 didn't make it).  After reading the packing slip I realized that they were shipped Monday morning and been in the box for 72 hours!  Part of that time they were enroute through a snowstorm.  It amazes me that most of them survived.

Then they went into the brooder box.

And after dipping each beak into the water they seemed pretty happy and even more happy when I put a pan of feed in there!  After they hatch they eat the yolk and that sustains them for 3-4 days and that time was almost up.  They definately were hungry!  Only 3 days old and they eat, poop, sleep and generally act like chickens, scratching and pecking.

Rhode Island Red

Buff Orpington

Plymouth (Barred) Rock

Below is a short 2 minute movie showing the baby chicks and our other chicks that are now 4.5 weeks old.  Today we are putting a heater out there and painting it.  The older chicks will be moved out to the coop on Easter Sunday.  Then we'll start putting up an enclosed outside run so that when the weather finally warms up they can spend their days in the sunshine.

Nobody has names yet and the kids (who love to name things) are ok with that.  We'll wait until they get older and we decide which ones we will keep and which ones we will share with a couple friends.

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