My baby chicks were born on Monday morning in Ohio! I watched the online USPS tracking so carefully. I was much more nervous about these chicks than I was the last time I ordered them (probably more than 10 years ago.)
Sure enough, right at 7am on Wednesday morning, I got the call from the post office–my chicks had arrived! I had already been up for several hours, and was dressed and ready to go out the door!
Back in the chicken coop, their light had already been on for a whole day, so their “brooder” was nice and warm. I took each one out, dipped its beak in the water dish, and showed them where their food was. Sadly, one little baby didn’t make it. But that is so much better than my imagination, where I thought that half of them would arrive dead! The box they came in had straw in the bottom, with one of those chemical warmers below it to keep them warm.
See that green stuff there? That’s called gro-gel. Its supposed to help them with electrolytes and hydration–hey, just like the gel things that runners use 🙂 They really liked it.
Here is my favorite chick–that silvery grey one with feathers on her feet. I ordered some blue cochins. The color blue does not breed true in chickens–some will come out black, some blue, and some “splash”–a combo of black and white. In my imagination, she is the perfect blue cochin (cochins are the fluffy ones with feathers on their feet.)
This shot shows the two Polish chicks–they are the ones who have feather topknots when they grow up. You can see they already have funny little round crowns on their heads.
I think they snuck in a Rhode Island Red Rooster on me. I ordered three New Hampshire Reds, which I think are a nicer bird–much calmer. This little guy is redder, and very bossy.
The brown splotchy chicks are Speckled Sussex, and the kind of mottled beige/grey ones are Appenzeller Spitzhauben–the national chicken of Switzerland! They end up white with black dots on them.
Its been a pretty intense couple of days. I run out and check on them numerous times a day. And honestly I just enjoy sitting there watching them. I brought one of my comfy patio chairs into the coop to sit on. Several of the chicks got “pasty butt.” Its just what you imagine. Their little poops turn to HARD PASTE, and then it glues their little bottom shut, and it can kill them. So all the books say to use a wet cloth to remove the paste. But it is really hard, and of course sticks to their down. I don’t like doing it, and kept thinking, if this was one of my neonatal babies, we’d put something on them to protect their little butts. Well, I called the company, and asked if there was anything else I could do for pasty butt, and guess what?! The lady said to put a little dab of vaseline on there. How about that? As of this morning, all the little pasty butts look like they are cured!
Yesterday we had one more fatality. I checked the chicks–all looked fine and lively, and then left for a couple of hours to go to the gym and to get the all important vaseline. When I came home, one of the chicks wasn’t moving, and it wasn’t even one of the ones who had pasty butt. I tried to give it a little water, but it died shortly after. That is the way with chickens. Unfortunately, it was one of the more expensive chicks, and one I really wanted (well, LOL, I want all of them.) Anyway, it was one of the Copper Black Marans, which lay dark chocolate brown eggs. I still have two of them, and hopefully they will both make it.
And that’s the chicken report for today. I’m sure there will be another update soon 🙂