Chicks Arrive at Mom’s House

chicks in box
This is the box they traveled in from Ohio to Fairfield, CT

All dozen egg layers arrived safely and soundly.  I received a call at 7:15 a.m. from my lovely postmaster this morning who begged me to pick up the express mailed chicks because the peep peep noise was already driving her nuts.  I was happy to oblige as the chicks were overnighted to me moments after hatching, placed in a straw-lined box (8″x10″)and shipped to me.  These chicks would huddle together for warmth in their trip from Ohio to Newark to Fairfield, CT.  They needed water, food and most importantly HEAT.

They were very cold, thirsty and hungry when they arrived.   Chickens aren’t the brightest creatures.  They need to be shown how to eat and drink.  Immediately upon getting them home, I pick each one up and place her in the preheated box that will be there home for the next week or so.  I then must grab them, one by one, and literally shove their beaks into the waterer.   I only need to do it to about half of them and then the rest figure it out.  Lemmings.  Same goes for food.  I have to ‘force’ their heads into the feeder and by the time half of them figure it out, the rest join in the meal.

brooderBaby chicks need to be at 95 plus degrees for the first week.  I accomplish this by creating what is a brooder.  My initial brooder is simply a cardboard box I picked up at Trader Joe’s the day before and it is heated by an infrared bulb.  I place newspapers on the bottom and then top it with paper towels.  Eventually, I will replace the paper towels with wood shavings once the chicks get the hang of eating their chick crumble. As the weeks go on, the temperature of the brooder will go down 5 degrees each week.  I adjust the temp by moving the infrared bulb further from the brooder.  These chicks will grow rapidly and will within a week or so outgrow the box from Trader Joe’s.  I will be on the look out for a bigger box.  I probably will be heading to Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Each of the chicks are about 1.5 oz currently.  They are approximately 2 inches tall.  Here they are in the coop next to an egg carton for a point of reference.

….and this is what they will eventually do:  lay eggs.  One of my Auracanas laid this baby today.   Not sure which one did it, but I suspect she is now walking bow-legged. They have had a bit of a shock so I haven’t manhandled them too much today.  Tomorrow, each of them will be properly named and I will post pics of each chick w/her name.

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