The Freedom Ranger chicks arrived this morning, the 25 we ordered plus an extra one from the hatchery. The Post Office called me at 6:45, and I drove over to get them. It was a much more relaxed drive than the one for the ducklings yesterday because I knew the chicks weren't likely to be dying. When I got them home to the brooder house, I moved the extra heat lamp off the ducklings and hung it over the chicks' cardboard enclosure where I had their food and electrolyte-water ready.
Here's a close-up of the ducklings. I may sound a bit British here, but all I can think of to describe their little bills and webbed feet is "cunning"! Their bills are actually flexible at this stage, and sometimes the ducklings sort of curl the tips up, like wrinkling their noses! Yesterday they were a bit clumsy and waddly in their movements, but today they hop quickly on both feet at the same time.
It's going to be a busy few weeks, as fast as these little guys are eating and drinking up their food. As soon as they're big enough not to drown themselves in a regular waterer, I'll switch to something bigger and less labor-intensive. But meanwhile, it gives me an excuse to check them every couple of hours and spend a few minutes watching their antics.