Friday, March 4, 2011

Week 1 of the Backyard Chicken Adventure

Well, with much excitement we headed to the post office on Valentine's Day, to pick up our cheeping box.  In the midst of our excited, yet calm, first moments with the chicks, introducing them to their temporary new home (a sturdy box in our learning rooms) the first of 5 chicks began to look stressed, not well.  I picked her up, and while holding her in my hands, the little chick died.  Such sadness around that box.

IMG_0011
A couple of hours later another chick appeared to be sleepy, but she didn't make it either.  And poor Chica, found the Rare Chick  that she had claimed to raise, drown in the watering dish.  Oh my.  That was a very rough day. 

Tuesday morning we found yet another chick forever asleep and were quite relieved to see that the rest of the chicks seemed strong & active, all eating and drinking, cheeping.

We had placed a call to the Hatchery on Monday afternoon and they told us to watch until Wednesday and call them back.  Some chicks just don't handle the stress of the journey well.  Imgine day old hatchlings flying on a giant metal bird, in a small box with holes to meet 3 excited girls and their mother.  Yes, stressful!

I decided on Wednesday afternoon to move the chicks to the "Hen House"  and after moving the heat lamp up and up, found a good temperature for the little gals.  It's so fun to have birds out there again!  And our cats are so happy to be back in "their" house.  They had been banished for a couple of days, lest they think we had brought home live dinners for them to catch!
Feb 17 Chicks 001

I called McMurray Hatchery on Wednesday afternoon and they promptly refunded the cost of all of our losses and the lady I spoke with spent time with me talking about the remaining birds.  I have been very happy working with McMurray Hatchery and reccommend them to anyone wanting to raise rare or endangered birds.  They have many other birds besides chickens! 

The chicks have settled in well and there is the lovely sound of cheeping out there, once again.  The chicks are starting to be named, beginning with the two turkens...

JillyBoo
JillyBoo, Naked Neck Turken


JuJuBee JuJu Bee, Naked Neck Turken
The chicks had a little trouble with pasting up, I discovered on Thursday afternoon, and we lost one more bird to that.  After a reminder that I need to check for pasting more frequently and a check of all the remaining birds, I assigned Petal Rose to read "Your Chickens, A Kid's Guide to Raising and Showing" and took a nap!

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