Friday, February 6, 2009

They're here!

Well folks, one little call from the Post Office at 7:30 this morning, and we became the owners of 26 baby chicks!
- the box they arrived in -
- back home in a horse trough
with a heat lamp and starter sugar water -
It was quite a family and neighborhood event getting these chickens! We haven't all been awake together (we three plus my parents) at that time of morning for.... well, ever. I guess we were two months ago when Zoralee was born. Anyway, Mom was texting photos to people. My grandparents came to visit. Okay, they were coming anyway, but the neighbors came specifically to see the chicks. Jason stopped at the top of the hill to say hey to the kids at the bus stop, and one boy said, "There are 25 chickens in that box?!" I think he was envisioning full grown chickens.

Look at Z's face in this one.

We ordered 25 (10 Barred Plymouth Rock to lay eggs and 15 Cornish Rock Cross to eat, called broilers). They sent two extra broilers, which is typical, as they expect some in-transit fatalities. The hatchery must have their stats down pretty well, as exactly two appeared dead upon arrival. One really was, and one was like 90% dead. Remember Billy Crystal's insight in Princess Bride: "He's only mostly dead." He was sprawled out with a limp head, limp legs, limp everything, so was originally placed in the garbage sack. But some weak-kneed bleeding heart wretched in and rescued him, and throughout the day, whoever came in to visit the chicks tried getting him to drink water. His name is now Bonus. It isn't clear how long he'll be among us. He has improved a great deal but now toward day's end isn't doing much to help himself, i.e.; he lays in his water dish. Wet chicks are not the same thing as hydrated chicks, little Bonus.

- introducing Bonus to water -

more chickies

- checking all the chicks for pasty butt this evening -

One little gal, one of the first we inspected, had a particularly dirty bum, so we really scrubbed and tugged at the goo to get her clean. Whatever we did, we could not find her bum hole. Finally we did, but it wasn't exactly where we'd been scrubbing. I guess we'd been messing with her little woman parts. Listen, learning to farm has its traumatic moments, both for the humans and the critters.

- changing tactics with Bonus -

- more progress on the chicken house -


Christi said...

I'm cracking up at the picture of your dad and Jason checking out the chick's bottom.

I love reading about your life!

Anonymous said...

That's looking like a pretty nice chicken house...should work for a spare bedroom too!

Anonymous said...

We are just so excited for this new venture of yours. We just got Princess Bride on dvd a week or so ago :)
We are going to be building some raised beds for my herbs and veggies so we will have to let you know how that goes...