Thursday, April 12, 2007

The First Chicks Are Here!!!

Ok, before we go any further... Our barn is NOT clean and it is NOT tidy. We need to do a bit of work in that area, but most barns aren't really clean. There are lots of cobwebs, etc. My neighbor mentioned that she noticed I cropped my pictures to not show the "unlovely" areas of our farm. =)

We got 82 baby chicks in the mail today. Most of them are broilers, but there are some layers in the batch as well. They really do come in the mail. I usually call the Post Office and let them know that chicks are coming the next day. That way, they call me and I can go and get them early. If I don't do this, the mail carrier will carry them around until he gets to our house, which is not until after noon. They don't appreciate the constant peeping noises. One time he had them in his trunk. I was not sure that was too good for the peeps.

I got the call first thing this morning. I went out to turn the brooder light on to start warming it up before I left for the Post Office. I plugged in the lights and.... nothing. So, I checked to make sure the end of the extension cord was plugged in and it was. I thought maybe the barn light had to be on to make that outlet work. No barn lights. So, I had to come in and have my husband tell me where the barn fuse box was, so I could check it out. I got the lights going and filled the waterer and the feeder. I put the top back on and covered it with a blanket. I left for the post office to pick up my chicks. They are always THRILLED to get rid of them. The chicks make "beautiful" music that drives them nuts. =) The one lady said that they really stink. They only had one other box of chicks besides mine and they don't stink yet. She must be a city slicker!! =)

I got them home and went out and opened the brooder up. It is about 2 feet tall. We had to pour a cement pad for it a couple of years ago because rats would tunnel up from underneath and get chicks. I ended up sitting the box of chicks down in the brooder. Then I bent over and took each chick out, dipped its beak in water and set it down. There were 82 chicks in there. I was reminded that I am an old fat woman. That was a long time to bend over that far. =)

Ah, the beginning of new life on the farm has started. My goat is due tomorrow, but her udder does not show that. I went back and checked my dates and I am right on with them. She looks very pregnant, but her udder is usually really big by now. We shall see what this means. Our cow is due around May 5th if she went into heat right on time.

This first picture is the box that the chicks come in. They will put up to 25 in each section of the box.

Here is our brooder in the not so clean barn. Underneath the blanket is the chicken wire covered top. When they are really little or if it is cold out, we leave the blanket over it to help keep the heat in. It is pretty chilly here today. Right now it is 39 degrees and there is lots of wind. The brooder is in the corner of the barn that does not get much wind at all.

The next two are pictures of the little peeps inside the brooder. They are so cute when they are little.

There is a possibility of snow tonight, Saturday night and Sunday. I assume Spring will come and stay when it is good and ready to. =) Let's hear what is going on at your place!!!


Saska said...

I think your barn looks just fine. The spiders need a home too, don't they?!

We were spared a freeze Easter morning and am praying that it's going to eventually warm up. Our wheat is heading out and can't stand the cold!

Keep your snow and cold....please?!

Pilgrim said...

It's cloudy and chilly here. . ..

Kelli said...

Oh, they are the cutest things, Marci! It looks like you are going to be busy! It was in the 70's today. Grace wanted to plant some seeds today but it's supposed to rain tomorrow and I didn't want them to get washed away. I thing spring is here to stay in Texas. I hope it warms up at your place soon!

Tina Leigh said...

Marci why did you get so many chicks? Are they "to-eat" chickens? Goodness! I'm dying to know! I didn't know you could order chicks in the mail. We always get ours from the farm supply here. Matter of fact, I have some turkeys coming this month sometime. When your goat delivers...if you can... get pictures of it all. It might gross some out but I think it is pretty neat...birth is always amazing! Well lots happening there at your house. I've got a bunch of errands to do today & then I have to work the next 3 days! Have a good weekend!

Mary said...

We get our chicks in mail too and the post office calls us almost every time to let us know they have arrived and you can really hear them in the background. I enjoy your blog

Moobear said...

Hi Marci,
Although I was exposed to farm life growing up I am wondering, were you raised on a farm; therefore having some experience or is this all new to you? I find it amazing you know so much about these little critters and I enjoy you sharing all this with us. If you are just a "beginner" at this, I am truly proud of you. I think that would be a neat life myself. I know you really enjoy it. I enjoy coming here and I always seem to learn something new. Thanks friend!

Anonymous said...

Hi Marci We are also putting in a order for broilers..I'm hoping on getting 100 to put in the freezer. We also have them mailed and sometimes we get them local. I like to buy local. We also replace our layers. We find that RhodeIsland Reds are good layers and nice big brown eggs. Right now I have a batam sitting on four eggs I hope they hatch out ok. She is laying in one of my plastic greenhouse boxes in my cold frame. Ray is in process of taking down the cold frame because we bought an outside wood furnace.Now back to the batams we have a hard time for them to sit on the eggs the last batch sat about 15 days and called it quits. It takes about 28-29 days to hatch. The weather here has been crazy anyways from low 20's at night to 40 in the day. We have a huge storm coming in Sun/Mon calling for two feet of snow again and surpose to be very heavy snow. Also from our last storm there is still 7,000 with out power and they perdict this storm to be really bad.. thanks for sharing great advice and pictures on your blog... Brenda

Anonymous said...

Marci, we too just got chicks. They are about 2 weeks old. This is our first time. We got ours from the local feed and seed and you can buy them one at a time. We have 8 and a duck (for the kids). I did not realize that the rats will go after your chicks. I just thought they would go after the feed. Thank you for sharing. It looks great.