Ever get that kid on Christmas morning feeling? Well that’s me today! My baby chicks arrived!
Please excuse my enthusiasm….but I’m excited!!!
I was so sad to lose all my chickens earlier this year to the evil chicken-eating raccoon. Especially my little rooster that was a beautiful Phoenix, given to me by my nephew!
We gave our chicken house a good once over, and found the scratch marks and the spot where Mr. Evil gained access to the inside. My amazing hubby secured the area, and I placed an order for some new baby chicks. After much consideration and admiring of the various breeds available from my favorite hatchery, I made my decision!
What I chose, plus a link to a Wikipedia article about them!
So, why did I pick these? Well first the Araucaunas, a.k.a. Easter egg layer. Let’s just say, I have owned this breed of birds since my first flock, back in 2006. I love them. Their personality, the variety of colors, and their unusual eggs. They lay different color eggs from white, slightly tinted, to green. Shells only, of course, but, yes, green!
The other two are newbies for me. I chose the Silver Laced Wyandottes because the hatchery suggest they make good egg layers even through the winter. That will be awesome! Chickens lay eggs based on hours of day light, which means in the winter, I was getting little, to no eggs from my chickens. As I see it, there was two ways to solve this, artificial light on a timer, to “fake” daylight, or try chickens that might lay through the winter. I chose the easy option. Who wouldn’t?
The final breed, the Blue Andalusians, I chose because they’re pretty. That’s it! Oh and they do lay eggs, they are chickens. So that is helpful 😉
When you order chickens from a hatchery, they are sent via express mail. My chickens shipped on Monday afternoon, and arrived at my post office this morning. Before a chick hatches it consume the contents of the egg, it contains all the nourishment needed for the first few days of life. This makes shipping them via 2 day mail, completely safe! This is how they arrive:
There is a minimum order so that the body heat from the chicks keep a warm enough temperature inside the box. See how they stick together to stay warm?
I prepared the water, by placing a couple of coins in it. Chicks like to peck, especially at something out-of-place, this helps them find the water and stay hydrated.
I prepared the box with some shavings, just to help absorb the “nasties” and keep the odor down. And placed a heat lamp above to help keep them all nice and cozy.
Once the box is prepared, I take each chick out and dip it’s beak in the water, just another way to help them find it. After the trip they do tend to be thirsty. I also count them as I do this, just to be sure. The hatchery I like is great and I have never been shorted. Plus I get one free rare breed chick with every order. Yay for free! I counted 27 chicks, I ordered 25. Can’t beat that!
Can you believe there are 27 chicks in there? As they grow, I will get a bigger area, but for now, it is easier to control their warmth! Plus it’s big enough they can get away from the heat if they wish.
Do you see my make-shift feeder in the corner? For the life of me I can’t find my tray feeder. Hopefully hubby can lend a hand when he gets home, otherwise, I guess I’ll need to pick one up at the feed store.
Now just some picture of the super-cute chicks…..
The first few days are critical for the chicks and their survival. I just need to make sure they have enough food, water, and warmth to get them growing! It usually takes about 16 weeks before a chicken lays an egg. With it being fall, I am anxious to see, but I bet I have to wait until spring for their first egg. Believe me, I will let you know!
If you would like to find out more about caring for baby chicks, just go here. You can also search the web. There is an amazing amount of information out there, and a number of hobby farmers that would love to help! Or if I can answer any questions, just ask, I will do my best or will point you in the right direction.
Do you have chickens or other kinds of “farm” animals at your home? Share with us: pictures, breed, etc. I’d love to learn!
Thanks for stopping by, and sharing in my excitement! ~ Kim