The Beginning

Warning! "Sleeping" chicks

Warning! “Sleeping” chicks

On Earth Day (April 22nd, 2013) our first batch of chicks arrived at the local US Post Office. As soon as i got the call I rushed to pick them up. When I arrived I heard only a few faint chirps from within the box. I was expecting more noise as we had ordered 7 different chicks, so I got them home as soon as possible.

Without thinking I began opening the box with my almost 2 year old son watching. I quickly realized that only 1 chick was moving around and the others were all still and silent. I moved the box immediately under the heat lamp to warm them up. Fortunately, my son bought my story that the baby chicks were “sleeping”, but lesson learned for the future. According to My Pet Chicken.com (my source for the chicks) less than 1% of all the chicks they ship arrive “sleeping”. Lesson learned.

The only chick standing was our Dominique so we named her Katniss after the Hunger Games heroine. The name suits her well as she is the top of the pecking order in our coop. I began to dispose of the remaining chicks, when I took a closer look. Five of them were cold and stiff, b

Feeding baby chicks with a dropper immediately after their arrival.

Feeding baby chicks with a dropper immediately after their arrival.

ut one (although not moving) was warmer than the others and not stiff. She was still alive! We scooped her up and laid her under the heat lamp. In a few minutes she began to perk up. Seychelle mixed sugar into plain water and using a children’s medicine dropper we gave the chick her first sips of fluid. Within an hour or so, she was up and moving on her own. We named her ‘pop’ because she just sort of “popped” back to life. She also looked like a little piece of popcorn. 🙂

So with 2 live chicks we began our journey. They lived in a plastic container with pine shavings and food / water containers under the warmth of a heat lamp for weeks. They were handled constantly and as a result they are the most friendly of our entire flock. After Pop and Katniss were settled I called MyPetChicken.com to report the loss. They were very understanding and took the loss as hard as we did. A replacement shipment was to be sent in two more weeks. We had to slightly change our order based on what was available that week and decided to order 6 more including 2 silkies, a golden laced wyandott, a buff orphington, an easter egger and a rhode island red.

Our "brooder" set up in the garage.

Our “brooder” set up in the garage.

When the next box arrived there were heat packs placed beneath the hay in the box and that helped keep the chicks warm. Despite the heat packs and the easter egger arrived “sleeping” but the other 5 were in great shape. We set up a separate brooder since there is a big difference between a 2 day old chick and a 2 week old chick. When they got older we slowly introduced them to one another. Our flock is now up to 7. You can meet them here!

IMG_1304

Second batch of chicks

Double brooders

Double brooders

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