A moment I know you have all been waiting for, our chickens are here! I could barely sleep the night before, I was so excited. But my excitement level paled in comparison to my daughter's when we opened the box at the post office. She squealed and laughed and then wouldn't let me put the cover back on. "No, Mommy, No!"
I don't have any pictures taken at the post office to post here because I was busy with the chicks, but my beloved MIL took many for our scrapbooks.
We spent a couple of days getting the garage cleaned out, enough so that we can move an 8 foot diameter stock tank into the east end to serve as the brooder. Here is the set-up just waiting for the babies to arrive.
Newly hatched baby chicks cannot regulate their own body heat so we have to provide it for them. In nature, the mother hen would keep them under her wings during this time. Our chicks were hatched on Wednesday and we picked them up on Thursday morning. They are shipped in a cardboard box. They need to get warmed up (to about 95 degrees) as soon as possible.
Before you just let them run willy-nilly, you have to take each one out of the box and dip its beak in the water, making sure it swallows. Then you have to introduce them to the feed so they know what they are supposed to eat. It's official, I'm a mother hen!! Here's one of our new babies!
All 105 of the "girls". These are Gold Star pullets, which means they are all girls. Gold Star is a sex-link breed which means that the boys are a different color than the girls when they hatch. We love strawberry blonds in our family!
You can tell by the way they are evenly spread out that the heat lamps are at the right temperature. If they were too hot, the chicks would be on the outside. If it was too cool, they would be huddled under the light. But like Goldilocks, these chicks are just right!
Taking a drink.
Having a little snack.
Stay tuned for more chicken updates as the girls get bigger!