Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Eat, Drink, and Sleep--The Chicks Are Here!
The chicks were hatched and shipped from New Mexico on Wednesday, the 11th. They arrived at our Post Office at 5:30 this morning. The man I called the other day told me they usually call people at 6 a.m., but I asked him to wait to call us till 7! They actually called about 10 till, so we grabbed a cup of coffee and headed over there. While we were still in the vestibule of the P.O. we could already hear the loud peeping!
We got our box of chicks and headed home. After filling up their water and food and turning on the brooder light, we turned them loose in the Chicken Palace!
Here's a close-up of the great brooder box that Herb built yesterday with the help of Thomas, Nicholas and Jeb. It holds the heat lamp in place and creates a warm area for chicks to go when they're chilly. They can eat under the lamp or outside the heated area, depending on how they feel, and their water is partly in the warmth.
They're very friendly! One of the Naked Necks (or Poulets Rouges, if you prefer to be elegant) climbed right up in Herb's hand. They're also called turkens because of their turkey-like necks, but personally I think they look like baby ostriches! We ordered 25 of them, and they sent 27.
Here's one of the six Ameraucanas. I think it's the cutest one! They're (hopefully) all pullets.
One of the first things we have to do is make sure they know how to drink. We took several of them and dipped their beaks into the water until they started drinking. Funny little things! Some of them seem to think they're ducks, getting right in the water!
As long as they master tipping their heads up to toss the water back down their throats, it doesn't matter how they get to it. Their down will dry off quickly under the heat lamp.
Another thing they have to master is finding food. At first they peck everything, including shavings and sawdust. Here they are, eating and congregating right on top of the food! But as long as we see heads going down and tails up, we aren't worried.
They're also figuring out the other feeder which will be a lot neater to use (less spillage and no possibility of them walking on the feed) once they all figure out how to stick their heads down in the holes to eat.
Of course, it takes so much energy to eat that the chicks just pretty much fall asleep on their feet, sometimes with their heads in the food tray! Herb and I were laughing at one that was swaying on its feet as it fell asleep.
And when they groom themselves, we know they're happy and healthy. They're so much fun to watch as they scuttle around, sometimes right over each other. They're as fast and scampery as a bunch of adorable mice!
Are we going to be able to kill them, you may well ask. All I can say is, it's a good thing for our freezer that they will have long ago left behind this adorable chick-stage when processing time comes!