Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘mail order chicks

More Chicks

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New chicks arrived this morning!

 

It was a two-day trip to get here through the U.S. Mail and all but one appeared to be in perfect shape. The lone weakling initially appeared as one who didn’t survive the trip but she did eventually take a drink and stand up on very wobbly legs. We are hoping for the best that she will gain strength to keep up with the rest of the rambunctious brood.

Because our previous familiar breeds were not available at the time Cyndie placed the order, she went with four that are completely new to us:

New Hampshire, Dominique, Barnevelder, & Light Brahma.

Here we go again! Despite the current battle with a fox that has boldly made a daytime attack on our 3 adult hens.

Sometimes heartfelt decisions defy logic in favor of hope.

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New Chicks

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I am happy to report that all chicks arrived safe and healthy, traveling in a box through the US Postal network in freezing temperatures. I am fascinated that this process works, given the despicable condition of a few other packages we have received over the years. Live chicks sent through the mail is a marvel.

Last year when our chicks arrived, I wasn’t around. Yesterday, Cyndie let me get in on the excitement of picking them up out of the shipping box and dipping beaks in the water to get the chicks drinking.

The birds come with a 48-hour guarantee of good health, plus, we received one extra of each of the three breeds. We figure, given their guarantee, it’s cheap for breeders to provide an extra, in advance, to avoid the expense and risk of shipping out a replacement should there be any infant mortality.

As of last night, they all looked to be doing just fine.

That’s not always easy to determine. Chick naps seem to happen at all times, in the middle of any activity. It looks like sleep just sneaks up and swallows them. When they lay down, it often looks like they must be dead, sprawled out with legs askew. Then another chick will stumble over them and the sleepy bird will pick up its head and look around. Sometimes they get up and get back in the action, sometimes they try going right back to sleep.

They will fall asleep while eating, or in the middle of all the other chicks that are flitting about, chirping. Occasionally, one will look like it might drown, getting snoozy head-first in the waterer.

We are happy with our healthy start, and are hoping for more of the same for the duration of time they are in the brooder, and beyond.

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Written by johnwhays

March 17, 2018 at 6:00 am

Hot Chicks

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The call from the Post Office came much earlier than expected yesterday. I’d barely started my day at work when I received a text from Cyndie at 7:18 a.m. indicating she was heading out to pick up our chicks. She told me later that when she walked into the Post Office the immediate sound was of chirping chicks.

She got them home and transferred the tweeting fur balls from their travel box to our water trough brooder, after covering the wood shavings with some paper towels. This will make it easier for them to find the food crumbles we are introducing them to.

They were a pile of chicks at first. Julian informed us the term is, “clutch” of chicks. Since they appear to be clutching each other, it seems most appropriate.

New momma Cyndie picked them up and taught them where to find water, and the first step of imprinting was in the books.

We didn’t plan it, but these birds are truly spring chickens, as they were born on the first day of spring.

In answer to Liz’s questions from yesterday, Cyndie ordered all females. We ordered 9 and received 10 birds. The different breeds are the Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington, & Barred Plymouth Rock.

At first, Cyndie felt that one of them looked a little more frail than all the others, and suggested it might require a little extra attention. By the time I got home, they all appeared to be getting along just fine. She couldn’t identify which one had seemed less able.

Earlier in the afternoon, Cyndie brought Delilah into the barn on her leash and tied her some distance away, reporting it as the first introduction and qualifying that it had gone superbly. The dog stayed calm and quiet.

I suggested we bring her right to the brooder trough and let her have a look at the new arrivals. She was happy to have the chance, but didn’t quite understand what to make of it. She could hear them better than see them, as she isn’t tall enough to easily peer down on them over the tub wall. She kept putting her head down to explore around the base of the trough.

After we held her upright to get a clear look down on the chicks, her interest was peaked. From then on, it was almost impossible for her to relax and be quiet after we moved her back out of reach and ignored her while making a health assessment of the birds’ backsides.

Back in the house after dinner, Delilah was annoyingly insistent about being taken for a walk outside again. Cyndie reported that the dog had no interest in walking her usual left turn to the trail in the woods. She made a line for the direction of the barn.

It appears she has a firm focus on the new attractions.

Let the games begin!

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