Our chicks are here!
I am sitting next to their brooder right now as they take a little nap. I could seriously watch these little ones all day. Not only are they super cute but everything from the way they move around their brooder box, to how they sleep, to how they interact with each other to how they seem to play is fascinating. Not even 2 weeks old and they seem to have such personalities.
I had posted a while ago about the breeds we were getting…well, things have changed. Sourcing the breeds you want can be a challenge and as I learned when one our chick orders was cancelled. Hatching chicks is a delicate business. We did not end up getting Blue Orpingtons or Black Copper Marans. The breeder had an issue with their incubator and so it did not work out. We did get a Barred Plymouth Rock and an Easter Egger from someone in Mill Valley. They hatched just last Wed, 3/9! We were also very lucky to connect Omlet Ranch, to get Blue Wheaton Ameraucanas and Mottled Javas. We have 2 of each since they were sold straight run (meaning gender unknown), we are hoping we’ll get at least one girl of each breed. The Blue Wheaton Ameraucanas are gorgeous, girlie chicks and will be lookers as adults as well. I am thrilled to have Mottled Javas as they are very unique and critically endangered.
We drove up to Mill Valley on Friday in torrential downpours to pickup the Easter Egger and Barred Rock. We did manage a pit stop at the Ferry Building for some lunch on the way which was a nice break from the rain. They didn’t seem too happy on the ride home, I presume in addition to being disoriented they were a bit cold. Once we got them home and in the brooder under a heat lamp they settled down and seemed very happy, eating, drinking and running around right away.
We are using a large Amazon box as their initial brooder. (I wonder how many Amazon boxes have been used in this fashion. I bet more than you’d think!) We have a large metal trough to use when they are a bit bigger, but for now the smaller space is more appropriate. We had rigged a cooling rack in the middle of the box to separate the first batch of chicks from the second batch that we were picking up on Saturday. I had read about that approach which gives the 2 groups some time to get used to each other without any risk of pecking unfamiliar chicks. We were going to leave them overnight like that but after a few hours they all seemed to be ok with each other, even laying close to each other through the rack. So we decided to remove the rack that afternoon, which gave us time to make sure they were indeed going to be ok with each other. And they were! I don’t think they could have integrated any better. It was so awesome to see them all together.