Monday, April 20, 2009
The CHICKS Have Arrived!
I took my first solo town trip since Ella was born last Friday. I had a doctors appointment, and our chicks were scheduled to arrive at a local feed store.
While I was waiting to be seen at the clinic, I got a call from the feed store...they said, "The hatchery shorted us 20 chicks, so we're calling everyone to come as soon as you can, and it's first-come, first-served at this point." **ARG** Well, I'd already been waiting a half hour, so I asked at the window when I would be seen. The surly desk attendant phoned to the bowels of the clinic, and nodded, and hmmmed, and uh-huh'ed, and hung up. "It's going to be at least another half hour". Well geez. I decided to go pick out the chicks, lest they get snatched by someone else.
When I got to 3G's, they still had 17 of the 25 buff orpington hens we had ordered. I then randomly chose seven more birds from the mixed breed brooder box. Two of them are roosters for sure, but the other five are anyone's guess. Hope they turn out to be hens. I picked pretty looking ones, it will be interesting to see what they turn out like. While I was choosing them, the phone rang again, and the clinic receptionist told me "They're ready to see you now." It had only been 12 minutes.
They had quite a wild day, driving all over the county, culminating in a trip over the Wildcat on their way back to the ranch here. They took it all in stride, and though it probably wasn't a very good idea, I couldn't help but hold a few of them while I was hurtling down the highway at 65 mph.
All but one are doing really well. It's kind of like having newborn around, just a little. They need a constant temperature of 95, and continuous supply of food and water. We've been experimenting with lodging and lights, litter, trays and hot water bottles. We doubled their brooder by attaching a second box, with a door cut through it...now they have a bedroom with a warm light, and a living room with the food and water. They are really fun to watch! They already scratch in the food, and peck at specks that they think might be bugs, and they zip around unexpectedly when spooked. My favorite is when one of them falls asleep in the food dish, just lays down and droops it's head, and closes its eyes. There is sure to be more chicken writing in the months ahead. Stay tuned!