I mentioned last week that we were mail ordering our next batch of chicks and expecting them any day now. We got an email confirmation on Tuesday the 13th that they would be shipping out on the 14th and should arrive in 1-2 days. At 7:43 am Friday morning I got “the call” from the Post Office. “We’ve got some baby birds here for ya.” So the kids and I piled into the Hemi and set off.
This time we got two boxes. The suspense while I set up the food and water in the brooder house was almost too much for the kids.
The Ladybug is no longer nervous about handling the little guys, although I don’t let the Cowboy or Speedracer hold them without constant and immediate supervision. They tend to squeeze, by accident, and baby chicks don’t respond well to squeezing. So she was my unloader.
One. Chick. At. A. Time.
Yes, it took us awhile.
But they were soon all installed in their new home–the brooder house. They’ll stay here for about two weeks until they grow enough to handle the field pen and less sheltered weather conditions. Needless to say, they don’t really need a heat lamp right now and we also have a fan running during the afternoons. But they have to be at 95° for 10 days, so if we get a cool down or rain we might need to plug it in.
We use a vitamin supplement in their water (that’s why it’s yellow looking) for the first 10 days as well to help them get over any shipping stress and get a good start. We use paper plates for the first few days because it’s easy for them to find and get to until they get used to things. Then we switch to a regular metal feeder. And we scatter the food around the pen for the first day or two so they can find it and don’t eat too many wood shavings instead.
Water is so important for them too. The first thing we do when we put each chick in is to dip their little beak in the water so they get a drink right off and know exactly where the waterer is. I try to go back every couple of hours and make sure everyone is ok. If anyone seems slow, we’ll move them by the waterer and maybe dip their little beaks again to make sure they got some. It seems to help perk them up and get them going.
So far they’re a week old and we haven’t lost anyone, so we must be doing something right!
Ok, I just couldn’t resist. Isn’t that Cowboy the cutest thing ever? Mr. Fix-It got him a new hat and boots and I can’t get him out of them.