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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Going To Pick Up Chicks

This morning we will be getting in a vehicle and traveling south to pick up our first set of chicks since we moved to this farm. This is pretty damned exciting!

We are lucky that we live less than 2 hours from a hatchery so we can go and get our birds and not have to use the US postal system. Using the mails costs a lot and it is very stressful on the day old chicks as well since they have to be in the mail system for up to 3 days (which most survive because they still have a bit of yolk in their systems that nurtures them). The sooner the birds can get warm and drink some water they better off they are. The other perk is Jungle Jim's happens to be on the way so getting chicks is an excuse to go to Jungle Jim's which is always a fun time. Not to mention I need quite a few food items such as a gallon of Maple Syrup, a gallon of olive oil, some spices, some flavorings, exotic cheeses, cheap but excellent wines (if we get there after 1pm), etc.. JJ's is a foodie's dream.

Before we leave though we have to find the chicken equipment such as the tiny red watering lids that fit on quart mason jars and are perfect for watering chicks that are under a week old. We also need to locate the plastic chick feeders. And I have no idea where the waterers might be since we have had no need for them since we moved and I have a feeling that the watering lids got tossed in a drawer and separated from the rest of the chicken paraphernalia. At any rate we want to have their brooder situation set up before we leave so when we return we are all ready to take them out of the box, dip their beaks, one at a time, into water and than release them into their brooder.

The brooder will be a chicken tractor with a heat lamp in it put out on pasture but to start we will put the chicks in a large round metal tub lined with straw with a heat lamp over head and chicken wire on top to keep the cats out. If it were a bit warmer we would put them straight out on pasture but with the temps dipping into the mid 30's tonight we will keep them inside for a few days before introducing the girls to pasture


Chandira said...

They mail chicks?

Well, I guess that's better than going to the KFC factory. How sad!

Lucy said...

That's how most people get their chicks is through the mail. After chicks hatch they still have a lot of yolk in them so can easily got 3 days with no food or water.

But shipping is stressful on them and when I got chicks in the mail there were inevetably 1 or 2 dead in the box and usually another one would die withing 48 hours.

Far better to pick them up yourself which is what we have done for the past 6 years or so.