Friday, April 3, 2009

SURPRISE!

I had every intention of sleeping in this morning. Then Jim came into the bedroom and asked me if I was expecting the new chicks today. I said no, they were due to arrive next Wednesday. Then he informed me that the post office called and said there was a peeping package waiting for me.

What?!?

I had planned to get the brooder cage ready on Monday, plenty of time to get things set up. I was completely unprepared for the arrival of baby chicks today! I had 7 new layers and 9 broilers waiting for me at the post office. Gack!

As I leapt out of bed, I barked orders at Jim to go get the brooder cage then run to town, pick up a bag of chick starter, then to the post office to get the chicks and hurry up about it! I got dressed and ran to get the feeder and water font prepped. I still hadn't cleaned them from when the ducks used them last July.

By the time Jim got back with the feed and chicks I had the brooder set up and ready for them. I ran out to meet him in the driveway and grabbed the box of chicks and ran inside with them. I quickly put them in the brooder and they all got a drink. In a few minutes they found the feeder and then they crashed. They'd had a long trip from Ideal Hatchery in Texas and they needed a good nap. Hatching day for chicks is very stressful.

I'm happy to report that the two Barred Rocks are full of personality. One is rather shy, the other is brave and bold. I got the bold one out for a while and let her explore the computer desk. She is fearless and I can tell she's going to rival Betty in personality. I'm going to have to think long and hard about an appropriate name for such a funny little chick.

I am pleased with all the chicks. They all seem to be full of character and there's only a few shy ones. It's been my experience that sometimes the shy ones turn around and become quite friendly when they reach maturity.

For those who will not be indulging in spring chicks this year I give you Peep TV. Enjoy!


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Speckled Sussex, sleepy on hatching day

Welsummer chick

Red and black broilers

Delaware

Sleepy little Delware

Nice variety of chicks

Cute little chipmunk stripes on the Welsummer (and she's wearing eyeliner!)

Spunky Barred Plymouth Rock explores the keyboard


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Sweet little Delaware chick

"What's going on in there?" asks Fern. The big chooks lurked on the front porch today, listening to the peeping babies.

14 comments:

  1. I was exhausted reading about your day, but those are the cutest little chicks!!!

    Have fun this weekend!

    Lucy

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  2. Oh what fun! We are considering getting some peepers too - yours are SOOOO CUTE!

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  3. Thanks for the videos, Amy- I thoroughly enjoyed them!
    Instead of singing "I want my MTV", now it's "I want my PeepTV."

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  4. Oh, what a fun surprise! I can't wait to get my chicks. April 25 is when they are supposed to come.

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  5. Oh my gosh! You forget how adorable they are! Now I want some! You will love those speckleds. They have such great personalities and my two are always the first ones out the pop door in the morning. Always. Have fun!

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  6. So if women who have had babies hear babies cry and their body parts tingle I wonder what hens go through when they hear chicks peeping but no hen is taking care of them? Chick always remind me of the movie Milo and Otis.

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  7. The video is just not long enough! I am a little smitten and envious here. If you haven't selected a name for the bold and brave black chick, how about Hazel? I used to watch that show as a child and I loved her style. The striping on the Welsummer chick reminds me of a chipmunk. Your new babies are so cute.

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  8. lovely chicks......i have my first broody of the season sitting on her eggs at the moment

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  9. Nice Chicks, Amy! can you tell me the name and address of the hatchery? It seems they have different breeds than McMurray. I'd like to get a catalog.

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  10. That "Peep TV" is the coolest! As it played here the sound had the whole family coming over to take a peek at the peeps. It is just amazing how much time one can spend just watching those little peepers (in real life).
    Thanks!

    One question though- if you are raising layers and broilers together, what type of feed do you give them?

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  11. Oh, they're so cute and what lovely colours! Your photos are amazing and I really enjoy seeing them.

    If the chicks just hatched, do they know to eat the feed on their own or do they learn it somehow?

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  12. Thanks for all the comments everyone! The chicks are doing great and are growing in leaps and bounds. I'm not sure what the big chooks think of hearing peeps inside the house but it sure does get their attention!

    To answer some questions, I have the chicks on the basic chick starter at the moment. I'm going to separate the two groups (layers and broilers) soon and give the broilers the higher protein broiler starter. They grow much faster than the layers do and should be butcher weight in about 7 weeks. These aren't the typical Cornish X that develop leg problems. They are the black and red broilers offered by Ideal Hatchery and they are good foragers and grow more slowly so they don't develop the health problems that are so often associated with Cornish X.

    Just-hatched chicks know everything they need to know to be chickens. They immediately start foraging for food. When one discovers something they all come running to check it out. All it takes is for one chick to learn something (good or bad) and the others will learn it too.

    OK, back to chick watching!

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