Wednesday March 28, 2007

No, not those weird brightly colored marshmallow things….real peeps!!!   We replace our laying flock every
three years, and this is the year!  We’d decided on our two favorite breeds, 25 chicks total.  Last time we bought chicks we had a hard time finding the quantities we wanted locally.  We thought we’d have to mail order them this time around, but Copper called around Tuesday morning and found what we wanted not too far away.   Copper then made a mad dash to a more-distant feed store and brought home our chicks!!  We bought 12 Americaunas and 13 Buff Orpingtons.  I love the beautiful blue-green eggs the Americaunas lay, but I love the personality and beauty of a mature Buff Orpington hen.

Once the chicks arrived home, I brought them into the house to stay warm while the brooder was quickly assembled.  Copper and the boys cut the wood and assembled the top several days ago.  All that remained to do today was some assembly.  While the boys worked on the brooder, I washed up the chick waterers and feed dishes.  We were all set up and ready for business within the half hour.  My youngest son was thrilled to be able to use Dad’s cordless drill/screw driver!  He loves doing important work!

The chicks were a bit chilly and huddled together for warmth for a bit, but then they got a whiff of their feed and sprung to life!  They seem like very vigorous, healthy birds.  Unfortunately, our old heat lamp bulb bit the dust during the afternoon, and then the replacement bulb broke apart in Copper’s hands as he was screwing it into the fixture!!!  Even more unfortunately, the temperatures were to drop below freezing overnight!  Copper and I made a quick run into town and back with a second replacement bulb.  The poor chicks were huddled in a very tight mass, but the lamp soon began warming them up.  The yellow chicks are the Buff Orpingtons and the darker chicks are the Americaunas.  Both breeds mature to be beautiful hens, but they are very different personality-wise.  We spent far too much time Tuesday out in the garage watching these little gals dashing about from food tray, to waterer and back again.  The next time we’d venture out, they’d all be huddled together in a pool of light from the heat lamp taking a group siesta, and then they’d wake up and begin running about again.  They really are a delight!

They are awfully cute at this stage, just days old; but they will soon

lose their cute fluff and will start feathering out.  We’ve all enjoyed holding them today and having an up close look at these tiny little birds.   We’ll keep the laying hens that we have now until fall.  We have a man who gladly buys our three year old hens from us, along with any other livestock we’re culling from our flocks.  Who knows, we may be ready to part with our ram by then.

New chicks are a sure sign of spring, despite the temperatures still dipping into the 30’s some evenings.  Any sure signs of spring in your neck of the woods?

 

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your households!
Proverbs 31:27

 

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16 comments to Wednesday March 28, 2007

  • Oh how nice of that man to offer a retirement community for the older hens and sheep! I can picture them now, frolicking in the sunshine around his property!

  • :sunny:  I do hope that he has a nice barn for the ram to bust his head against, ol’ Nun also loves to frolick!  It’s so nice that the man has such a nice retirement community for them:sunny:

      Okay, Rin, you sooooo owe me for sharing the guilt!

  • Okay Dani! You run one way and I’ll run the other! 😮 She can’t go after us both at the same time!!! (Kelli, just to be on the safe side, you’d better run too, unless you’re going to bat your eyes and be “the good one” )

  • “”Oh how nice of that man to offer a retirement community for the older hens and sheep!”””

    :):giggle::shysmile::lol::lol::lol:

  • When I call the man, I can offer him a free box of toothpicks with every order! :spinning:

  • Now my kids will be begging for some little chickies, too! 

    I’m assuming that “the man” will be throwing a big barbeque in the fall??:lol:

  • Sure signs of spring in our suburb of a city of 2.2 million people?  Well, we do have some flowers beginning to bloom.  The spiders are coming into the house, and the skunks are living it up here lately, at night of course.

    The chicks are adorable!  I can just see my neighbors in our apartment complex looking over my fence to watch my chickens . . . and the skunks eating the eggs, and the raccoons too . . . and the bears coming off the mountians to have a little chicky appetizer! 😉

  • I forgot to mention, they are cute! Even if they aren’t dyed pastel colors!

  • You girls may think you can avoid capture by splitting up and running, :nono:but I know two boys who would love nothing more than to assist your mother in catching you.:goodjob::coolman::giggle::giggle:

  • Well, the oldest we could probably still tag team and tie up (especially if we tickled him to the ground first), the younger actually LIKES to be captured and tied up, so we’d have to grab them before they grabbed us! 😆

  • Yeah!! Well………Your Daddy is neither ticklish nor easily bound.  And don’t think for a minute that I wouldn’t help your Mother:eek::eek::lol::sunny:

  • Ah, Honey!!!  You’d help me?!?!?! :love::love::love:  

    Hey, Botzy – While the younger actually likes to be captured and tied up, you forget that his true delight in this is in his ability to escape, little Houdini that he is!!!

  • Ooooh…so cute!! I love baby chicks! I read quite a few “chicken in the city” book but they are illegal where we live. :0( I’ll just have to enjoy your pictures!
    Kelli

  • Kelli – Cute as the chicks are now, they will soon be awkward half-feathered, gangly half-grown things and not at all cute.  Does that help??  I’ll post pictures then, too! 😉

  • That brings back memories.  When I was little, we got chicks every year, and it was so fun to take them all out of the box, cuddle them, give them their first drink, and watch them wobble around.  Of course, ours never made it to three years old :rolleyes: but as soon as they lost their down, I was pretty much done with them anyway.  Then they were ugly and annoying then!

    LOL on the retirement community!  😆

  • cherry trees! So pretty right now just coming out that I had to paint on this quite overcast morning while Mercy is in MDO. I used one particular branch as a study for the painting. While it dries I suppose I’ll get some housework going (spring cleaning and decorating), then go for the next to last section. Love the chicks! Wish I could get that started, but not yet. Still renting and paying off last bit of debt (Katrina recovery debt).