Chicks Arrived, Well, Some of Them
hick day is always a day I like to have behind me. Our chicks come from Idaho, so sorta close, but still I worry about a postal worker going postal on the little peepers so I am always glad when they arrive safe and sound. Usually they do too, knock on wood, we have been very fortunate with our chick orders over the years. A few minor glitches but nothing really serious.
I’m not very adventurous when it comes to chickens as you know. I like the Cornish Cross, and have been very happy with the Black Sex Links as layers. No need to color code my laying flock anymore, like we used to, so sticking with this breed in fine with me. I also can’t say enough about buying from a hatchery that has been in business for a long time. We used to get our chicks from a hatchery in Washington and when high feed prices drove them to retirement, we switched to this hatchery on the recommendation of a friend. The chicks are always in good shape when they arrive and do well here.
I got up early this morning to await the phone call from the post office, after fidgeting for an hour, I broke down and called, and sure enough the chicks were there. The postal employee was new and didn’t know to call. Not a problem. I was splitting the pullet order with a friend and she was waiting for the chicks too. Her kids were very excited!
When I picked up the box at the PO, I quickly glanced at the holes and only saw yellow… . “Hmmm, the inner voice piped up. Where are the little black balls of fuzz?” I put the box on the pickup seat, and tore open the packing slip, the invoice correlated with my order of meat birds and pullets, so I headed over to my friend’s house to divvy up the goods.
When we pried off the lid, we were totally surprised. No black chicks! Only yellow! Crap! It looked like a 100 chicks to me, since each quadrant was filled on the shipping box. So I quickly put the lid back on and tried to reason through this. I didn’t want 25 extra meat chicks since I only have one field pen, and I really wanted my pullets. I was hoping they weren’t out in the postal abyss somewhere…especially since it was kind of cold to be shipping chicks. They really like it warm. I headed home with MY chicks, leaving a sad little boy behind who WANTED chicks today. A call to the hatchery confirmed that the pullets never did get shipped – and would come the next week. And when we took the chicks to the brooder to install them, a count revealed only 75 like I had ordered. For some reason they were packed for summertime temps with less per quadrant, I have no idea why, but they are safe and sound and all doing well. Next week they will get some new friends and we’ll just have to deal with having babies a week apart in age.
I believe in imprinting babies, so they know what expect. So I put out appropriate reading material for them to peruse while they eat breakfast. I thought a good article about Grimm would be interesting. Hopefully they won’t be too scared about running into a Klaustreich. They already were a little doubtful on the way home when I made them listen to the Black Keys. Gold on the Ceiling was okay, but when Lonely Boys started, they peeped loudly in protest. Sigh. Oh well, at least I didn’t crank it… ;)
Like I say when the dogs are horsing around, “Quit having fun, will you!” Back to business. I like to have the food and water ready before taking any chicks out of the box. I also use newspaper for the first day or so, and place food and water stations at each side of the hover, my theory being that the chicks need to eat and drink and I don’t want them to have to look for it the first few days. I graduate them fairly soon to reel feeders and the bell waterer and take away the papers and small waterers. And yes, do change the papers every feeding.
This may be considered chick abuse, but I grasp each chick in the box and dip their beaks in the water and then the feed. It may be one of those old wives tales that isn’t necessary, but I do it anyway. Probably just pisses them off.
This crew is pretty active and inquisitive. They don’t look delicious yet, just darn cute!