Friday, May 27, 2011

First Introductions

This week our chicks arrived from the hatchery. They pecked their way out of a shell, were sexed and sorted, then placed in a box and mailed to us. Since a chick is hatched with no need for food or water in the first 48 hours, this really wasn't that stressfull, but is still amazing. We got the call at 9pm thursday that the chicks were in Missoula and we could come get them from the post office if we wanted. Or we could wait and they would arrive in Plains the following morning. The post office man was nice and said ours looked good, but the other box he had recieved didn't look so good, he thought some had died. He also said that he'd find something to put over them to keep the wind off. Chicks have to be kept above 95 degrees for the first week and in light of our recent cool wet weather Whitney decided that a run to Missoula was in order. She had planned and waited too long to have her chicks die on a post office loading dock. So as I went to bed in preparation for another 0530 work day Whitney headed to rescue the chicks. She found them at the post office safe and sound and brought the peeping box home to the brooder ready with heat lamps, making it home around midnight - thirty. I got up as she was headed to bed, exhausted but satisfied that all the chicks were safe and healthy. We had ordered 25, but the hatchery sent 29. Maybe because it's late in the chick season, or maybe because some do die often, but in this case all survived. Whitney spent the first day with them introducing them to the water and food and making certain that the temperature stayed constant. At the end of the first day she decided all four of the varieties she ordered were there, plus a few mystery chicks.

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