New Chicks!


David’s original hens are approaching 2 years old and starting to slow down in production, and a skunk took out the eggs our broody hen was sitting on that were planned to be replacement layers.

So David used some of his profits to buy more chicks.  This morning, just after 6, the nice woman who runs the local post office called to tell us they had arrived.  So we hopped into the car and drove down the hill.

IMG_4835

The early boy gets the birds

You may think the post office is only open from 9-5, but the work starts a lot earlier.

Lots of peeping going on in that box!

Time to go home!

David ordered 25 barred rock hens, plus 2 roosters.  We also added an additional free chick the hatchery calls a “meal-maker” – in return, David promises to give the eggs she produces to needy people.  Then, as a surprise for David, we added 3 “hatchery choice” mystery hens (the brown ones in the photo).  The kids are trying to figure out what kind they are.  The hatchery also added a couple extras just in case there were losses.

All of them made it safely!

Transfering the chicks to the brooder… please excuse the messy garage – I just finished making the brooder, and I tend to make a mess when I work.

Chicks in the their new home. The brooder is 4×4, but I put in a smaller divider for the first few weeks to keep them warmer.

The family spent a few minutes monitoring the chicks to make sure they were happy and not indicating any distress.

They should be laying by May!

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14 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Matt on January 4, 2013 at 8:37 am

    The brooder appears to be occupying Martha’s vehicle’s spot in the garage. Just in time for the snow!

    Reply

    • In a couple weeks, we’ll move the brooder to the feed room. Right now, there’s also a duck in a kennel in the garage as well. She evidently decided to spend last night outside and got a bit of frostbite on the feet.

      Reply

  2. Love the pics! We’ve been thinking about having chickens for a couple of years. I’m really nervous about it. But they are so cute!

    Reply

  3. Posted by Dad on January 4, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Great smile on his face!

    Reply

  4. So cute! Good Luck chickies!

    Reply

  5. Posted by 2callmemom on January 4, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I love that no matter what you are doing David brings so much excitement and his big smile. I’d almost consider raising chickens just because David makes it look like the best thing ever.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Diane Bunce on January 4, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Our girls had chickens years ago, one night at 2AM a skunk raided the chicken house and ate the comb off one hen before I got out there…
    Chicken lived until the freeze came when we found her dead. Someone told us the comb regulates their body tempurature. BTW, the chicken house was sprayed on one corner when I came outside and smelled until it was dismantled a few years later.

    Reply

    • We’ve taken out 3 skunks this year – one I unwisely dispatched too close to one of the goat shelters, and it still smells bad on a hot day out there.

      K&K have plenty of room for chickens in their backyard… that sounds like a great gift!

      Reply

  7. You are one brave family to start this early, with all that snow you have. I dream of this year’s chicks, but can’t imagine beginning before end of March, even then keeping them warm enough until they feather out can be a bit dicey in Montana.

    Reply

    • I’ll post the pics of the brooder later. We’re blessed to have a garage to keep them in for a few weeks (even when the temps outside drop to below zero, it stays at 30+ in there, and the lights are enough to keep them at 95 degrees). Next step will be to move the brooders to the feed room attached to the main coop.

      Reply

  8. Did you realise how big that smile was in every photo! Can’t wait to see more as they grow. 🙂

    Reply

  9. Glad I found your blog! I also have a homesteading blog http://www.ahahahni1.wordpress.com. I’m looking forward to comparing your struggles with your climate as compared to ours. The heat is horrible and the weather unpredictable. Btw. LOve your hat! I live in the cowboy capital of the world Stephenville, Texas

    Reply

    • Hi and thanks for commenting. We lived in North Texas before this (actually our 4th assignment in TX), but the hat is actually an Aussie Akubra, a birthday gift from my siblings 4 years ago. I’ve been wearing similar hats since our family lived in Australia 20+ years ago, but this is the nicest I’ve owned! Checking out your blog right now…

      Reply

Please feel free to comment or respond - we may take a bit to get back to you (between feeding animals, mucking stalls, mending fences, and chasing the goats out of the chicken coop again!)

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