When our favorite hatchery has a sale on mixed breed pullet chicks, we take notice! Around here, chickens, especially pullets (young hens) are selling for much more than normal for some reason. Everyone is getting into chickens! And since we had that little varmit situation of earilier, we are down on chickens really. So, we decided to take a chance on a grab bag of rainbow layers!
That meant getting ready for the little fluffs of uber-chick cuteness! We had 10 chicks that our neighbors hatched and three that we hatched about a week before. We had 4 more but a friend of ours’ little girl really wanted to raise some for us, so she’s fostering 4 of the little sweeties and doing a wonderful job! We wanted them all out in the poultry barn because I’m getting a little tired of having chickens in our dining room… they are SO noisy all the time! haha… cute for about oh, an hour or so, but at 3 in the morning, well, it would be nicer to have the little dickens out in the poultry barn in our nice big brooders. So that meant getting them all ready! We got a new bigger waterer as well as a pair of new heat lamps for at night. During the day, it’s been nice and warm, but at night, the temperatures do drop down to about 60-70 degrees and that’s a little too cold for everyone.
It really doesn’t look like 50 chicks but actually it was 14 chicks in each side… 52! They are a rainbow layer pullet assortment from Meyer Hatchery. Guarenteed to be at least 5 varieties, usually more. We think there is at least 7 different kinds in our mix. It will be exciting to see how they all grow up! And also, if they grow up to be all girls! It said that they have about a 90% accuracry rate… and if you find they are off, you can get a credit for those mis-sexed. I just hope they are pretty correct and it’s better than if we tried to hatch them ourselves! Then it would be more like 50-50 hens and roos… and we already have plenty of roosters for sure!
It amazes me still, how these little day old babies can handle going through the mail! Of course, they are handled carefully by the post office, and they are so light that they just kind of bounce around like little fluff balls… but still, it is pretty amazing. Our post lady is so excited when the chicks come, she called me at 7 am and let me know they were there. When I got down there to pick them up, I always open the box to make sure they are okay. Most hatcheries will give you a credit for any that have died, but we’ve never had a problem with that. They do look a little tired and road weary, like little gypsies seeking a pleasant place to bed down for the night. We get them home and into the brooder as quickly as we can.
Jessy is our official chick welcomer to Windhaven Farm. She loves them when they are so cute, and she is very careful to make sure they all have a little dip of water and are doing okay before she releases them to the big brooder. One by one they get the Jessy stamp of approval and the little welcoming pep talk. She is their new mama…
We like to make sure that their first gallon of water has a packet of Sav-A-Chick in it. I think it’s kind of funny because it makes the water look like orange Kool-Aid, but the extra electrolytes and happy chick powder seems to give them a little burst of energy after that first long long trip! It’s remarkable how quickly they start to explore their new environment, all full of vim and vigor after a good drink! We start them out with the food and water at floor level but by the end of the first week, we will raise it up on a piece of wood or two. Otherwise, they make it so messy, so fast! Little chicks are adorable but oh, are they messy!
Aren’t they so cute??? Can’t wait to see how they grow up! We will keep some to replace our own laying hens and then also sell some as chicks, some as pullets and some as hens when they get old enough. We’re trying to offer a nice range of livestock to our customers and having an assortment of the various heritage hens around is a good thing!
I’ve got the materials to make a new incubator, one that I really think will work nicely. I will probably only incubator my Marans eggs and those from the Amerucanas. Those seem to be the types of chicks that we are known for. Our Bucka sired and now, his sons are joining in. I would like to get a few more blue Marans hens, been searching around a bit for someone breeding them but it’s hard around here. Not that many are, yet! I would like to be one of the few in the area with some nice Marans… So far, so good! I just need to start incubating more purebred eggs. It kills me to put my expensive Marans eggs into the $2 eating egg cartons! Gotta get that new incubator put together soon!
Well, that’s some of the news that is news here at the farm! We’re getting ready for a super busy week with a party on Saturday! Yep… we’re having a meteor shower party out here at the farm. Star gazing is absolutely fantastic in our back pasture. Maggie has been a mowing fool and she has a lot of it all mowed and ready for the party! More news about it as the week unfolds! Everyone’s welcome!!!