Thursday, May 31, 2007

Chicks arrived yesterday!

The chicks we ordered from Murray McMurray Hatchery ( arrived yesterday (May 29th). We ordered 25 Rhode Island Reds, ended up receiving 26 (I'm guessing they throw in an extra in case one of them doesn't, uh, work out, so to say) plus a "mystery chick" (which the Shin named "Star," and Ryu named "Thomas," and we are all now bound to call the bird "Star Thomas" or "Thomas Star.").

The post office called us up at 6:15 am to let us know that the chicks were in. I quickly assembled the brooder, and we went down to pick them up at about 8:15 am. They all came together in one tiny 1 ft by 1 ft box. Pretty amazing. We got them home, turned on the brooder lamp to heat the brooder up (chicks need to be kept at 90-95 F for the first week, then have the temp cooled down by 5 F every week).

With our order we'd also bought some of McMurray's "QuikChik" powder, you mix it with water and end up with "chicken gatorade," so we mixed some up, added some sugar, and hooked the water container up to the brooder. We then dipped each chicks beak in the water, then put the chick in the brooder. They were pretty excited for a while, but eventually settled down.

I ran down to Dell's, the livestock supply place here in town, and bought ten pounds of chicken starter feed and a feeder. By the time I got home they had all figured out how to drink from the water bin. Pretty much as soon as I put the food in they started eating. So no worries there.

And that was pretty much day one of the chicken thing.

Day two was pretty uneventful. Came home and fed the birds (they eat a LOT). In the evening I gave four of them away to my friend Alan. Then finally changed out the newspaper (now covered with chicken manure, it ended up in the compost pile) and replaced the water. Birds seem pretty healthy and happy. I'm glad I borrowed the brooder from Doug.

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