Up at 5:50 A.M. anticipating a phone call from the neighbors…who were anticipating a call from the Post Office…saying, “Come get your chicks!!”
Yes, you too can order chicks via a reputable hatchery. Or check your local farm store, many of them advertise “Chick Days” this time of year and have everything you need to get started.
In our case, our CSA farming neighbors, Farmer John and his sweet wife let us order fifteen broiler chicks along with their 150…and today was delivery day! I actually waited about an hour for “the call”, at which time I fished three girls out of bed where they’d been snoozing fully dressed for a half an hour, loaded them in the vehicle and off we trucked down the road to the farm.
All 165 chickies were packed in two smallish post office boxes, little mounds of vibrating yellow. According to John, they’re packed tightly to ensure they’ll stay warm. After all, day old chicks need to be in 95 degree temps to thrive. Thus, a heat lamp is an important part of chick-rearing!
We stayed at the farm long enough to watch John’s wife count out the first thirty-five chicks and introduce their little beaks to the waterers, familiarizing them to their new digs. Picked up on a new-to-me tip while watching: use a cut and slightly smashed garlic clove in their waterers as a natural antibiotic. That’s helpful info when you’re trying to go au naturale!
Collected our little cheepers and their organic feed and headed home to settle them in a warm home, a thigh-high produce box from Aldi’s that’s about 3’x4′ and hogging a whole corner of my already crowded laundry room!
Aren’t they sweet? Just don’t get too attached, as I’m telling my girls…in 6-8 weeks these Cornish meat broiler babies will be in the freezer…yes, we are not naming this batch. No siree. I’m not wavering on this not one little bit. But oh they’re soooo cute…
Yes, it feels like Spring has officially begun Winter’s thaw. Meet one of our two baby Boer goats and hopefully soon I’ll get pics up of our three Australian Shepherd puppies who are one week old today!
You’ll remember my similar post last year when we pioneered our way through raising baby chicks for laying purposes. Those twenty-five babies are full grown beauties shelling out about 18 eggs a day. We LOVE chickens! If you are serious about pursuing this calling, *wink*, I highly recommend this book: Living with Chickens by Jay Rossier. While our chicken house was still a work-in-progress, I used to take this book out there and dream while thumbing through all the glossy pics of chickens and myriad chicken houses across the U.S.A.
If nothing else, get yourself a copy for the coffee table conversation it will bring…and maybe it will come in handy in the next few years. You just never know.
After all, I ordered laying hens last year for a reason. I’ve come a long way to thinking I could butcher my own meat. And it too, remains to be seen.